Colorado Extradition Laws (CRS 16-19-104)

Extradition is the legal process of bringing back a "fugitive from justice" to the state in which he or she allegedly committed a crime. A person may also be extradited if he or she:

CRS 16-19-104 is the Colorado code section which sets forth the laws of extradition in the state. It puts into effect the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, which is an effort by multiple states to create a:

  • detailed,
  • complete, and
  • specific set of procedures for returning fugitives to and from a state.

The Governor's Warrant

The extradition process begins with a governor's warrant. When a person is wanted either in or out of the State of Colorado, the state requesting extradition must:

Hearing in Front of Judge

Once the warrant is signed, local law enforcement will arrest the person listed if found in the state. Once arrested, that person is entitled to a brief procedural hearing in front of the judge of the state that did the arrest.

The hearing is called a Writ of Habeas Corpus. The hearing is designed to:

  • ensure that proper procedures were followed
  • under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act
  • during the extradition process.

The hearing is not designed to determine the guilt or innocence of the person accused of a crime.

Below, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers discuss the following frequently asked questions about the extradition process:

Img extradition to
Extradition is the legal process of bringing back a "fugitive from justice" to the state in which he or she allegedly committed a crime.

1. What is extradition?

Extradition is the legal process of bringing back a "fugitive from justice" to the state in which he or she allegedly committed a crime. A person may also be extradited if he or she:

  • violates bail,
  • violates the conditions of probation, or
  • violates the conditions of parole.

C.R.S. 16-19-104 is the Colorado code section that sets forth the laws of extradition in the state. 1 It puts into effect the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, which is an effort by multiple states to create a:

  • detailed,
  • complete, and
  • specific set of procedures for returning fugitives to and from a state.

2. What is a Governor's Warrant?

The extradition process begins with a governor's warrant. When a person is wanted either in or out of the state of Colorado, the state requesting extradition must:

  • procure a written document, and
  • cause it to be signed by the governor of the state2 in accordance with the procedures of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, and
  • list it with the United States National Crime Information Center (NCIC).3

2.1 Which governor signs the warrant?

The governor on the receiving end of the request is the one who signs the governor's warrant. This means that the state that wants the alleged fugitive must file a request with the governor of the other state.4

For instance, if Utah believes a person lives in or is hiding out in Colorado, the State of Utah -- which is considered the demanding state -- will send a governor's warrant to Colorado, and the governor of Colorado signs the warrant to commence execution of it.

3. What is a writ of habeas corpus?

Once the warrant is signed, local law enforcement will arrest the person listed if he or she is found in the state. Once arrested, that person is entitled to a brief procedural hearing in front of the judge of the state that did the arrest.

The hearing is called a Writ of Habeas Corpus. The hearing is designed to:

  • ensure that proper procedures were followed
  • under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act
  • during the extradition process.

The hearing is not designed to determine the guilt or innocence of the person accused of a crime.

3.1 Can a suspect waive the Colorado extradition hearing?

A person can waive his or her right to the Writ of Habeas Corpus hearing. A person may do that in order to speed the process along if he or she chooses to do so.

It tends to be very rare that a person is able to stop extradition, but it is not impossible. You should not assume that all of the procedures have been followed correctly, but have your experienced attorney make sure that your rights have been upheld and protected.

4. Are there differences between extradition to and from Colorado?

There are differences between the two processes for:

In each case, different legal standards exist that must be analyzed by your attorney.

Call support

Call us for help...

For questions about the extradition process or to confidentially discuss your case with one of our  Colorado criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us. For cases in California or Nevada, please see our pages on California extradition laws and Nevada extradition laws.

We represent clients in and around Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Lakewood, and several nearby cities.


Legal References

  1. CRS 16-19-104 (Form of Demand).
  2. CRS 16-19-103 (Fugitives from Justice).
  3. United States National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Services.
  4. Same as footnote 1.

Free attorney consultations...

Our attorneys want to hear your side of the story. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a FREE consultation with a criminal defense lawyer. We may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. And if necessary, we will champion your case all the way to trial.

Regain peace of mind...

Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

To contact us, please select your state:

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370