Often individuals sit in jail for 30-90 days while waiting to be extradited. In many of these cases, a criminal defense attorney might be able to convince the judge that issued the warrant in Florida to lift the warrant so the individual can travel back to Florida voluntarily and avoid the expense and inconvenience of extradition. This often benefits both the individual being detained and the State of Florida.
Call 813-250-0500 to talk with an experienced attorney about possible ways to avoid extradition or resolve a case in Florida.
In this article, we discuss a recent case results in a extradition case decided in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.
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Client Avoids Extradition to Florida on Fugitive Warrant
Results: Case Number 88-CF-013110, August 18, 2009 - The client avoided being extradited from NC to Tampa, Florida on a fugitive warrant. After the client voluntarily appeared in Court on a "motion to surrender" with attorney Jason Sammis, the Court not only withdrew the felony warrant, but also terminated the probation so that the client would not have to defend himself against the accusation during a violation of probation hearing. The client walked out of the courtroom free to return to his home state without having to worry about the 20 year old violation of probation or fugitive warrant out of Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.
Facts: We were contacted by a criminal defense attorney in North Carolina ("NC"), Glen Bachman with Bachman and Swanson, PLLC, in Durham, N.C., about representing his client who was sitting in jail awaiting extradition to Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. The felony warrant from Florida was served on the man while he was in his home state of NC.
The man had originally been put on probation in Tampa for three felony charges:
- attempted sale or purchase of cocaine
- aggravated assault without the intent to kill; and
- aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony.
The man was sentenced in 1989 to 18 months of community control (house arrest) in Hillsborough County, FL. A warrant for felony violation of probation was issued 8 months later alleging that the man returned to his home state without complying with the terms of his Florida probation.
Since returning to NC, the man had not committed any new offenses in the last 18 years. Although he was originally held with no bond, his attorney in NC was able to quickly get a $150,000.00 bond set in the case. Such cases usually result in the individual being held with no bond in the home state while they wait to the extradited, which can take more than 90 days in some cases.
Before the client had to post bond, the criminal defense lawyer in NC contacted our law firm to help the man find representation in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. The NC criminal defense attorney wanted to find the best way to have the man released in NC so that he could voluntarily return to Tampa, FL, without having to post the high bond.
We filed a Motion to Surrender in Hillsborough County on the same day that we were retained. After the "Motion to Surrender" was filed, we faxed a copy to the Attorney in NC. The attorney in NC was able to use the fact that the motion was pending to negotiate a much better disposition with the prosecutor and judge so that his client would be released without posting any bond since he had retained an local attorney in Tampa, Hillsborough County to resolve the case, and already had a court date scheduled on the motion to surrender.
Thankfully, the Court in NC agreed to release the client so that he could appear in Florida voluntarily for his court date on the motion to surrender on the violation of probation warrant without posing bond. In many cases, the Court's are extremely reluctant to grant bond in such a case. Having the attorneys in two states work together ultimately saved the man thousands of dollars that he would have otherwise spend in posting bond through a bail bondsman. [If the other state refuses to grant a reasonable bond, we can go forward with the "motion to surrender" to ask the Court to withdraw the warrant, even while the client is in jail awaiting extradition. ]
A hearing on the Motion to Surrender was scheduled on August 10, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. before the Honorable Judge Daniel H. Perry. With the Motion to Surrender we included more than 13 letters from various community leaders from the man's home town in NC, including the Sheriff, the Program director for the Detention Facility, a License Practicing Counselor, and a Drug Treatment Program Supervisor. These community leaders all spoke very highly of our client, including the fact that he had completed a substance treatment program, then became a staff member of the program and ultimately went on to be instrumental in the organization of other agencies in the county to aid in the treatment of substance abuse. The criminal defense lawyer in NC was instrumental in providing us with all of the information needed for the Florida extradition case.
In many of these cases, the reason that the case has been pending for so many years undetected, is because the individual avoiding any conflict with the law during the entire time.
Besides the fact that the client had become such a valued member of the community, the unusual thing about the case was that the client had someone perform a detailed background check many years ago to see if any type of warrant was outstanding in Hillsborough County, FL. Nothing showed up on his NCIC until recently, when the man was picked up on the outstanding fugitive warrant.
In many older cases, the Circuit Court Clerk's office in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, will show that the warrant was issued, although the warrant will not show up on the individuals National Crime Information Center (NCIC) record. The NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information, including information about an individuals criminal history, outstanding warrant information, information on fugitives, or missing persons reports. An individual's NCIC is available to local law enforcement officers, as well as state and Federal law enforcement officers on continual basis 24/7. Florida maintains a similar database called a Florida Crime Information Center "FCIC."
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Having an individual extradited to Florida is extremely time consuming and expensive. The State of Florida will charge those costs to the individual when they attempt to resolve their case. The costs of extradition can be added as a criminal sanction as a "cost of prosecution."
In many of theses cases, an experienced attorney can save the client the costs of extradition. In the event that the extradition cannot be avoided, the criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm can help you resolve the underlying case on the most favorable terms possible.
If you or a loved one is awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Florida, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case. In many of these older cases for violation of probation, especially when the individual can prove competent and substantial evidence that they have turned their life around, then the court is much more likely to allow the individual to avoid going to jail or prison on the charges.
If you would like more information about Florida extradition laws after a violation of probation, then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss possible ways that you can defend yourself against this charge.
Call 813-250-0500 today to talk with an attorney about the particular facts of your case.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.