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Extradition To Utah

If a person is detained out of state for a warrant issued in Utah, the courts have a procedure known as “extradition” to bring that person back to Utah. In some cases, an attorney in the area where the detention takes place may be able to get the court to issue a bond so that the person can voluntarily return to the place where the arrest warrant was issued.

In most cases, however, the person is better off “waiving extradition” and hiring an attorney in the place where the warrant was issued (instead of the place where the person is being detained) while awaiting extradition. If you have a fugitive warrant in Utah or are awaiting extradition to Utah, then contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and your best defense.

Defense Lawyer For Extradition Warrants in Utah

Darren Levitt is experienced in representing clients charged with felonies in Utah, including warrant for felony violation of probation, and fugitive warrants. Call Darren Levitt today to find out what you might need to do today to protect your rights. In many cases, hiring an experienced attorney may help speed up the release of the person being detained, even before the extradition takes place.

Fugitive Warrants in Utah

Any allegation that you have left the state to avoid justice after committing a crime in Utah, escaping from confinement in Utah, or after violating probation in Utah could potentially result in an extradition warrant.

The authority for one state (often called “the asylum state”) to extradite a fugitive to another state (often called “the demanding state”) is found in Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution which provides:

A person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime. U.S. Const. art. IV, § 2, cl. 2.

Furthermore, under 18 U.S.C. § 3182 (1970), the courts have found that federal law governs extradition while state regulation merely supplements it. See Prefatory Note, Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (U.L.A.).

Utah’s Adoption of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA)

Most states have adopted the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA), which is codified in the state of Utah at Utah Code Ann. §§ 77-30-1 to -28 (1999). The UCEA establishes uniform procedures for handling interstate extradition. The Constitution of the United States compels the states to follow certain rules for interstate rendition of fugitives.

Other States Demanding the Detention of a Person in Utah to Await Extradition to Another State

Under these rules, when the governor in the State of Utah is presented with authentic documents from a demanding state, the Utah’s governor must issue an extradition warrant. See Utah Code Ann. § 77-30-2 (1999) (stating “it is the duty of the governor” to extradite fugitive upon proper demand).

Extradition to Utah

Utah Code Section 77-30-23 provides to the process for a person being held in another state to be extradited to Utah when that person is a fugitive of justice for a crime committed in Utah, including a violation of probation.

What is the process to obtain the Utah Governor’s Requisition?

The process to return a person to Utah when that person is charged with a crime in Utah, the prosecuting attorney must present to the governor his written application for a requisition for the return of the person charged. The application for a requisition must state:

  • the name of the person so charged;
  • the crime charged against the person;
  • the approximate time, place, and circumstances of its commission of the crime charge;
  • the other state in which the prosecutor believes the fugitive to be hiding including the location where that person can be found;
  • a certification that in the opinion of the prosecutor, the “ends of justice” require the arrest and return of the accused to the state of Utah for trial and that the proceeding is not instituted to enforce a private claim.

When the return to Utah is required because the person was already convicted of a crime and either escaped from confinement or violated probation, then the prosecutor in the county where the crime was committed must present to the governor a written application for a requisition for the return of such person. The application must state:

  • the name of the person;
  • the crime of which he was convicted;
  • the circumstances of his escape from confinement, or of the breach of the terms of his bail, probation, or parole, the state in which he is believed to be;
  • the location where the person is believed to be found at the time of application.

What if I am Not Guilty of the Crime Charged?

In the case of fugitive extradition, the United States Supreme Court has clearly limited the scope of judicial review of a habeas corpus petition. Once Utah’s governor has granted the demanding state’s extradition request, a court can do no more than decide the following issues in a habeas corpus proceeding:

  • whether the extradition documents on their face are in order;
  • whether the person held has been charged with a crime in the demanding state;
  • whether the person being held is the person named in the request for extradition; and
  • whether the person is a fugitive of justice.

In fact, Utah Code Section 77-30-20 of UCEA, provides:

[t]he guilt or innocence of the accused as to the crime of which he is charged in another state may not be inquired into by the governor or in any proceeding after the demand for extradition.

Other than showing a mistake in identity, the court is not concerns with whether the person awaiting extradition in Utah is guilty or innocent.

Finding Qualified Representation for a Case Involving Extradition to Utah

If you believe that a warrant has been issued for your arrest in Utah, either for a misdemeanor or a felony offense, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Darren Levitt fights for clients charged with both felony and misdemeanor charges. Hiring an attorney as early in process as possible often leads to the best results, especially when a warrant has been issued but before extradition to Utah takes place. Call today to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your case.

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(801) 828-2732