Extradition in Florida - How Long Can a Person Be Held?
Extradition is when one state has a warrant, but the person is arrested in another state under the warrant. Today, law enforcement can find an out-of-state warrant on their computer, which can take a few moments or less. However, it can take weeks or months to complete the extradition.
IntroExtradition is a mess. Being a government is hard. There are lots of people and lots of rules.
Asking two states to communicate in an effective and efficient manner is a tall task. Sometimes things go well - but many times they don't.
Unfortunately, people are frequently held for weeks and months before extradition is completed.
Each jurisdiction designates a person or department to be in charge of extradition. These people literally pick up the phone (or email possibly) and call the other state. "Hey John Q, we're sending a van for John Doe. The van is stopping in three states on the way. We'll be there a week from Thursday."
How long can Florida hold someone? Up to 90 daysFlorida has adopted the Uniform Interstate Extradition Act - found at s. 941.01 - 941.42
Fla. Stat. 941.15 - A Florida jail can hold someone up to 30 days until the other state picks up the person from the Florida jail.
Fla. Stat. 941.17 - A judge may recommit the person for up to 60 days.
30 + 60 = 90 days
How do you get someone out if they have been held too long? Writ of HabeasFla. Stat. 941.10 - Rights of the Accused
A person being held for extradition has a right to challenge the legality of their detainment for extradition.
First, a petition for writ of habeas corpus should be filed with the clerk and served to the State Attorney's Office (they represent the State of Florida in an extradition action).
Habeas Corpus means "you shall have the body" - sometimes the law is creepy.
The judge will set a hearing within a "reasonable time." During the hearing, the person can present evidence that they are entitled to be released.
Be careful, though, because the out of state warrant is presumed to be valid. So the burden is on the person imprisoned to show there is a problem.