The answer is yes, United States citizen can be extradicted to other countries in order to be charged with alleged crimes. The laws governing international extraditions are a complicated matter that involves international treaties between the United States and over 100 other countries. 18 U.S.C. §3184 states that an individual may only be extradicted if there exist an extradition treaty between the United States and the requesting country.
Many of the United States extradition treaties require that the allegations against the extradition target be a crime in the United States as well as in the requesting country. Requests for extradition are managed by the State Department and the Department of Justice. To begin the process the requesting country will reach out to their embassy in Washington D.C. in order to make an extradition request to the Department of State who then requests the U.S. Attorney in the district where the target is located in order to begin the extradition proceedings in the federal Courts.
The federal court will than review the evidence submitted against the target and if sufficient will issue a warrant for his/her arrest. The court will also determine whether there is probable cause that the person committed the offense listed on the treaty in question. If yes, than the court will submit its findings to the U.S. Department of State who will make the final decision as to whether to extradite the target or not.
Prior to the 1940’s, the United States did not extradite it’s citizens to other foreign jurisdictions. However, all this changed in 1990 when Congress created new legislation that allowed for extradition of U.S. citizens as long as the terms of the treaty between the requesting country and the United States were met. It’s important to note that although a vehicle for extradition exist, the United States can be resistant in certain circumstances in extraditing its own citizens to other countries because of the incongruity of legal systems, harsh punishments in other jurisdictions and whether the extradition is politically motivated.
Extraditions are a serious matter that requires experienced and vigorous representation. The Kushner Law Group has had years of experience protecting our client’s rights both in New York State and the Federal Courts. We have represented extradition cases from The Republic of Uganda to Columbia to the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana to Iceland. Call the Kushner Law Group at (718) 504-1440 to discuss your case. We are here to help defend you from Extradition.
See here for a list of U.S. Extradition treaties:
Criminal Division of the Office of International Affairs (OIA)
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