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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23578
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My fiancee was picked up in Alabama on a 3 year old warrant

Customer Question

My fiancee was picked up in Alabama on a 3 year old warrant out of Missouri with full extradition. He was picked up on 02/18 and we are trying to figure out what we can do to speed the process up. He wants to get back to St. Louis and take care of it so that he can get back home (Alabama) where he now has a family and manages an automotive shop. No one seems to be able to tell us anything about when extradition will happen or if there is anything he can do to speed it up. Can anyone please help?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.

Hello,

Unfortunately, there isn't much that you can do to speed up the process, which involves Missouri's governor authorizing the paperwork for the extradition and then dispatching a team of Marshals to come and pick him up. If Missouri isn't interested in extraditing after all, then as soon as word gets back to Alabama, he would have to be released so long as there are not also any Alabama cases holding him in. Otherwise, extradition will pretty much occur when it occurs, and there's not much which can be done unless/until the delay is unreasonable.

Basically, Missouri would have 30 days from when your fiance signed the waiver of extradition and agreed to return to Missouri, for Missouri to get their papers together and dispatch a team to come get him. That's because there's a Federal Act called the Uniform Extradition Act that says that 30 days is a reasonable amount of time for an extradition to be completed.

States are free to make their own modifications and are not bound by the Act, but because Federal Law says that 30 days is reasonable and Federal law trumps state, there isn't much one can do about a delay until after 30 days are up. Then, if there is still no movement on the part of the other state, your fiancé's lawyer can file a writ of habeas corpus to bring him before the judge for the Alabama to show good cause as to why he was still being detained and, if the state couldn't show that, to release him.

Usually judges keep close watch on extradition cases since these defendants can easily fall through the cracks of the system if there is no other case they are being held for. Your fiancé probably has a public defender assigned to him if you haven't paid for private counsel. You need to reach out and speak to him or, if he has no lawyer, you have to get a local lawyer involved. That way at the earliest reasonable point, a lawyer would be available to do a writ as I indicated before, and to argue for his release if good cause can't be shown as to why Alabama's still holding him.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He was arrested on the 18th and went before a judge in Alabama on the 19th. He has absolutely no charges in Alabama and the arresting officer even told me that if it weren't for the warrant in Missouri that he would have no reason to take him. Since he has been in Alabama he has not gotten in any trouble. He has that one thing over his head from Missouri and wants to get it taken care of but it appears he will probably sit here for 30 days. Is there to even find out if Missouri is planning on coming to get him? They have already said that when or if he gets there that he can bail out for $1000.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.

He should have a new court date and there will be word from the Alabama prosecutor who, by then will have spoken to the Missouri prosecutor and should have a time frame.

Meanwhile, you can call the clerk of the court where he appeared on the 19th and find out if your fiance has a lawyer assigned to him. If he does, that lawyer can stay on top of the progress of the extradition. If he doesn't, a lawyer would be very useful under these circumstances.