What is DUI Extradition? Does It Apply in Florida?
Extradition is the removal of a person (fugitive) from the state in which he is physically located (asylum state) to the state that requests him to face criminal charges or punishment (demanding state). Florida statute 941 allows the state to request extradition from anywhere in the Unites States.
The process for extradition in Florida, at least in theory, is fairly straightforward. The governor’s office from the demanding state must file a “governor’s warrant” with the governor’s office of the asylum state. The warrant will include the reason for the extradition, which is usually because criminal charges or punishment are pending against the fugitive in the demanding state. Once the warrant has been filed, the asylum state will arrest and hold the fugitive until the demanding state comes and picks him up.
Practically speaking, extraditions can be extremely time consuming and expensive. The asylum state bears the responsibilities of not only arresting and detaining a potential criminal of another state but also for issuing and processing an additional warrant to allow the transport of the fugitive out of the state. The demanding state has the burden of retrieving the fugitive within a certain time frame as specified in the warrant, all that the state’s expense. If these requirements are not satisfied, then the fugitive may be released by the asylum. Such instances, however, are not common.
Does Florida Extradite People Charged With DUI?
By law (Florida statute 941), the state may extradite a person charged with a “crime” in Florida, whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. So even though a DUI charge is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida, extradition is still possible if the state chooses to do so.
Extradition cases, however, can be extremely time consuming and costly. As a result, the state of Florida rarely attempts to extradite a person for misdemeanor offenses, including DUI. That does not mean, however, that a person who commits a DUI in Florida and flees the state is off the hook. A Florida court will issue an arrest warrant for failure to appear for court, and this warrant is held valid anywhere in the United States. Consequently, if that person is stopped by police in another state for a traffic violation, he may be arrested based on that existing warrant even though Florida never requested extradition. Warrants are generally valid for ten years but are almost always re-issued when they expire.
In cases in which the DUI results in serious injury or death or substantial damage to property, the state of Florida will most likely attempt to seek extradition. It is important to note that these charges are equal to a second degree felony and not a misdemeanor.
Here is a recent example, DUI Manslaughter Suspect Extradited to Ocala.
They have also recently written the DUI Guide Book for Alachua County, Ways to Possibly Avoid A DUI Charge or Conviction. You can request your free copy today. This book, written by these experienced DUI defense criminal trial lawyers, gives insight into what a DUI charge is, what it takes to be over the legal limit, ways the State can prove the charge, and possible legal defenses.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your case, pick up the phone and call Meldon Law today at 800-373-8000.
Attorneys Jeffrey Meldon, Carey Meldon, and Dan Weisman head up the experienced DUI defense team at Meldon Law located in Gainesville and serve all of Alachua County, Florida.