Opinions and Legal Insights

How Does Foreign Extradition Work In Practice?

Foreign extradition is the process by which a criminal found within the United States, is handed over to another country for the sake of criminal proceedings in that country. This process is regulated by treaty and is handled by the federal government. The United States has agreements with over 100 countries. Often these treaties cover all acts that are considered crimes in both countries; however, some only apply to specific crimes. There are times when extradition is allowed without the presence of a treaty, but this will often only occur if the country offers reciprocity. In other words, the United States will not extradite to one country in the absence of a treaty unless the other country will extradite to the United States. The United States has even been willing to extradite people to another country, even when that country would not do the same. The bottom line: America is willing to extradite those within its borders to another country. If you are at risk of foreign extradition, contact one of our foreign extradition attorneys today.

What is an extraditable offense?

Extradition treaties must lay out specific offenses that warrant extradition. In cases where the specific offense is not listed in the treaty, extradition will not be allowed. Many countries, including the United States, may also refuse to extradite offenses that allow for the death penalty in the requesting country.