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Fugitives from Law Enforcement Flock to Miami and South Florida

Posted on January 25, 2010 3:00 AM EST

Federal law enforcement authorities recently released a report indicating that the majority of fugitives are eventually captured in Miami and the South Florida area. The United States Marshal's Office have a wide variety of responsibilities including guarding federal courthouses, overseeing the federal witness protection program and selling of seized assets forfeited by criminals. The Marshals spend countless man-hours capturing would be fugitives. In 2008, the marshals were responsible for the capture of 36,000 federal fugitives and approximately 73,000 local and state fugitives. More than half of those were captured in Miami and South Florida. Supervisory Deputy Barry Golden gave the following explanation for the skewed numbers. "Part of it is the weather. But also, South Florida is a multi-national, multi-racial, multi-lingual, is there anyone who really stands out; not really, it is easy to blend in."

As a result of the large number of fugitives being captured in Miami and South Florida, many Miami criminal lawyers have garnered extensive expertise in extradition matters. If a federal fugitive is captured in South Florida, that individual will be housed in the Miami Federal Detention Center until the federal court with jurisdiction completes the extradition process returning the fugitive to the location where he or she will face charges. If the fugitive has local or state charges pending, the defendant will be housed at the Miami-Dade County Jail until the jurisdiction from where the offense originated decides whether or not they wish to spend funds and manpower to pick-up and deliver the fugitive. Other cases involving fugitives involve military law. Active duty soldiers from the Army, Navy. Air Force or Marines are regularly wanted for the charges of Absent Without Leave (AWOL) or Desertion. Once a military unit declares a soldier AWOL, an arrest warrant will soon thereafter issue. Any service member picked up on this type of warrant is typically held in local custody until picked up by the military. As a Miami military lawyer, is has become evident that the current state of our military forces has caused an increased number of AWOL and desertion charges.

Anyone arrested on out-of-state or military warrant will be taken to the Miami-Dade County Jail and will appear at a bond hearing the following day. The judge will review the jail card and determine that a hold from a foreign jurisdiction exists. The judge will place a hold on the file with a no bond hold. The jail card will reflect that the fugitive is to be held until XYZ County or the military releases the hold. Several scenarios can take place. If a fugitive waives extradition, the local, state or military authorities have approximately two weeks to come to Miami and pick up the fugitive. The out-of-state jurisdictional authorities can ask for an extension of time which will be granted by the court. Therefore, the fugitive may be held up to 30 days in jail without a bond. If the 30 days passes, the fugitive will most likely be released barring extraordinary circumstances.

If you or a loved one is being held with a bond in the Dade County Jail on an out of jurisdiction case, contact a Miami extradition lawyer. A Miami criminal attorney experienced in extradition matters may be able to provide assistance. Depending on the severity of the offense, an out of state jurisdiction may agree to set a bond in lieu of spending time and money on retrieving a fugitive. A lawyer will contact the prosecutor's office in the jurisdiction where the offense is alleged to have occurred and negotiate setting a bond. Once the prosecutor agrees to the bond, that information will be transferred to Miami where the jail card will be amended to reflect the bond. In military case, a well-versed Miami military lawyer will contact the appropriate military installation AWOL apprehension unit and have them agree to the release of hold. The armed service will also provide an airline ticket to the installation of their choice. Most of the time, service members will be required to return to the unit from where they last reported for duty. Even if a fugitive is being held without a bond, there are solutions to the problem which will not require them to remain in custody for up to a month.

Lasso many in South Florida, The Palm Beach Post, January 21, 2010.
Categories: Extraditions