Extradition To and From Colorado | Fort Collins Criminal Defense Attorney

Are you facing Extradition to or from Colorado? Read more about the process and procedures involved and how an expert criminal defense attorney can help.
Extradition is the process of moving someone who is charged with a crime from one state to the state and jurisdiction that is charging them. In Larimer County and all over Colorado, Governor’s Warrants are used to both extradite people to other states where they have been charged, and bring people back to the Colorado county they have been charged in from another state.

The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act and Fugitive from Justice

The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act – C.R.S. 16-19-104 – is the agreement made between all states to extradite a Fugitive From Justice and return them to the requesting state. This agreement was made to ensure that violators cannot cross state lines to avoid criminal proceedings and potential punishments. The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act outlines the process a state must go through to request another state to seize and return a fugitive to Colorado. It is the same process the state of Colorado must follow when another state requests the return of a “foreign fugitive.”

A Governor’s Warrant – How the Process Begins in Fort Collins

When a wanted fugitive is found in Fort Collins, Loveland, or Estes Park, they can be arrested and extradited to the state charging them if a Governor’s Warrant has been issued for the Fugitive From Justice. The country’s NCIC (National Crime Information Center) computer has information about a person’s criminal record, active warrants, and any Governor’s Warrants. Generally, foreign states (any state other than Colorado) only request a Governor’s Warrant for serious felonies, like Homicide / Murder or Sexual Assault. This is because extradition is so expensive for the requesting state. The Governor’s Warrant is issued after the request is provided by the foreign state demanding the delivery of the wanted person, which is verified and signed by the governor of the foreign state.

What Happens When Larimer County, Colorado Receives Another State’s Extradition Request

When Colorado receives the demand to extradite, the governor of Colorado meticulously verifies the proper procedures have been followed, which necessitate him to arrest Fugitive From Justice person and deliver him to the requesting state. After everything has been verified as correct, the governor of Colorado will execute a Governor’s Warrant. If the wanted person is already in custody, the process to transport him or her to the requesting state will begin. If the person is not in custody, the Colorado Governor’s Warrant will cause the person to be arrested in Larimer, Boulder, or Grand County. This is the same procedure a foreign state follows if Colorado is requesting the extradition.

Larimer County Extradition Procedures Under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act

When a person is arrested for a Governor’s Warrant, that person is allowed a procedural hearing in front of a Colorado judge to make sure the extradition is in order and following procedures. The arrested person can file a Writ of Habeas Corpus to request this civil court case hearing. An arrested person can “waive extradition,” which means they decline this hearing to speed the process along. It is very rare for an arrested person to be able stop or prevent their extradition to another state.

The Habeas Corpus hearing is not to decide a person’s innocence or guilt, like a criminal trial would. It is only a procedural hearing to decide if all the proper processes have been followed according to the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. If everything is correct, the person will remain in custody until the foreign state comes to transport them. Usually the courts will put a time limit on how long the state of Colorado will hold the defendant, giving the foreign state limitations on how long they have to retrieve their wanted person. Sometimes, we are able to get the Colorado judge, along with the requesting state, to agree to let our client post a bond and provide their own transportation back to the requesting state. This allows our client to avoid the long and uncomfortable trip in the prisoner van.

Why You Need a Lawyer If You Are Facing Extradition

The Extradition Process applies to both people wanted in another state but living in Colorado, or people living in another state but wanted in Colorado. It is important to call an experienced criminal defense extradition attorney, like those at the O’Malley Law Office, immediately if you or a loved one is arrested in another state for Colorado charges. We can help protect your rights and keep you from suffering through the drawn-out trip back to Colorado.

Whether being extradited from Colorado, or back to Colorado, always be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact a criminal attorney at the O’Malley Law Office today, at 970-658-0007. Together, we can protect your future.