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The Extradition Process

Extradition, a legal term often associated with high-profile international criminal cases, is a complex procedure that involves one country surrendering an individual to another for prosecution or punishment. With the United States maintaining robust extradition treaties with over 100 countries worldwide, understanding the intricate processes involved in extradition—both from and to the U.S.—is crucial for anyone embroiled in such a case.

The complexities of these processes underscore the importance of knowledgeable legal representation. Jonathan Minkus, with over three decades of experience in post-conviction and criminal law, has navigated these complexities, providing his clients with personalized attention, persuasive advocacy and reliable guidance. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation where you can receive specified advice.

Extraditing from The United States

Extradition from the United States begins with an initial arrest following a request for provisional arrest from a foreign country. This arrest marks the onset of an intricate legal journey involving several key stages:

  1. Request for Extradition: The foreign country submits a formal extradition request to the U.S. Department of State. This request must be comprehensive, clearly articulating the charges and providing substantial evidence to support the allegations.

  2. Evidence Gathering: Once the request is received, the burden of proof lies with the requesting country. They must provide evidence substantial enough to justify the extradition under the terms of the applicable treaty.

  3. Formal Hearing in Court: Upon approval by the Department of State, the case proceeds to a federal court hearing. Here, the validity of the extradition request is examined meticulously, ensuring the terms of the relevant treaty are met.

  4. Final Approval by the Secretary of State: If the court approves the extradition, the final decision rests with the Secretary of State. This decision is not merely procedural; it takes into account a range of factors, including diplomatic relations, human rights considerations, and potential repercussions for the individual involved.

Extraditing to The United States

Extradition to the United States, while sharing a similar structure with the process of extraditing from the U.S., differs significantly in execution due to variations in international law and treaty stipulations. The key stages include:

  1. Request from the U.S.: The process is initiated by a formal extradition request from the United States to the foreign country. This request must outline the alleged offenses and provide compelling evidence to substantiate the charges.

  2. Decision on the Validity of the Request: The foreign country evaluates the request to determine its alignment with the terms of the applicable treaty, the sufficiency of the evidence provided, and the seriousness of the alleged offenses.

  3. Steps Leading to a Decision from the Secretary of State: If the foreign country approves the extradition, the case undergoes a series of legal procedures culminating in a final decision from the U.S. Secretary of State.

Possible Defenses to Extradition

Potential defenses to extradition are numerous and can include arguments of insufficient evidence, lack of dual criminality (the crime must be punishable in both countries), political motivation, or human rights concerns. Each defense is highly case-specific and requires thorough examination and strategic presentation.

With this complexity in mind, legal representation becomes indispensable. The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, with their extensive experience and strategic approach, ensure all possible defenses are explored and presented effectively, providing clients with the best possible chance of a favorable outcome.

Don’t navigate this complex legal maze alone. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us support you through the intricacies of extradition law, equipping you with the strongest possible defense.

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Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.

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