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What does it mean to waive extradition in Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Waiving extradition in Colorado is when fugitive who is arrested in Colorado for allegedly committing a crime in another state agrees to be transported to the charging state without putting up a legal fight.

Extradition from Colorado is a lengthy legal process where fugitives can fight the government's right to transport him/her to the charging state (also called the demanding state). People who waive extradition give up this right to fight being transported.

Extradition from Colorado

There are six basic steps for extradition from Colorado to the charging state.

  1. The charging state files a request with Colorado setting forth the crimes the fugitive committed;
  2. The Colorado Governor commences an investigation into these charges;
  3. The Colorado Governor signs a governor's warrant sent from the demanding state;
  4. The fugitive gets arrested in Colorado (if he/she is not already in custody);
  5. Law enforcement arrange to transport the fugitive to the charging state; and
  6. The fugitive gets extradited from Colorado to the charging state.

In some cases, fugitives arrested in Colorado can be released on bail while fighting extradition. But Colorado judges will not grant bail to fugitives who either:

  • are accused of a crime punishable by death or life in prison under the charging state's laws;
  • are alleged to have escaped from custody in the charging state;
  • are alleged to have violated the terms of their bail, probation, parole, or sentence; or
  • have executed a written waiver of extradition (meaning, they agreed not to fight being transported).

Waiving extradition

It is a personal decision whether a fugitive should fight extradition or waive it. Two common reasons that fugitives may decide to waive extradition and return willingly to the charging state are:

  1. the prosecutor promised them that they would be lenient if extradition gets waived; or
  2. they just want to "get it over with" and speed up the process of going back to the demanding state. 

One downside of waiving extradition is that fugitives are no longer eligible to be released on bail while awaiting transportation to the demanding state. And in some cases, fugitives spend several weeks in jail until they get transported.

Fighting extradition

There are many different ways fugitives can try to fight extradition (which is the opposite of waiving extradition). Three common arguments include: 

  1. Law enforcement arrested the wrong person. It is not unheard of for police to apprehend an innocent person who has the same name as the fugitive or who looks similar to the fugitive. If the defendant can show that there was a mix-up, he/she should not be extradited.
  2. Law enforcement violated extradition procedures. As with any legal process, extradition has several rules that law enforcement is obligated to comply with. If police cut corners, skipped paperwork, or made mistakes, the extradition may be invalidated under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act.
  3. The fugitive files a writ of habeas corpus to argue that his/her detention in illegal.

Also learn about extradition to Colorado, when someone who allegedly committed a crime in Colorado is arrested out-of-state and transported back. 


Legal References:

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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