Habeas Corpus in Interstate Extradition Cases

The extradition warrant can often be challenged in a petition for habeas corpus on grounds that:

  • the defendant was not the person named and described in the warrant; and
  • the defendant was not in the State of Florida at the time and place that the crime was allegedly committed.

Florida law provides that if there is a material discrepancy between the name contained in extradition documents and the actual name of the accused, the documents standing alone are not sufficient to make a prima facie case for extradition.

For more information on filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus in an extradition case, contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL.

Attorney for a Habeas Corpus in Extradition in Tampa, FL

In a case of mistaken identity, the criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm can represent you. In some cases, we can help our clients file a writ of habeas corpus asking that you be discharged from a Governor’s warrant in an extradition proceeding on that basis.

Keep in mind that for extradition cases brought pursuant to section 941.10, Florida Statutes, the scope of inquiry of the trial court in habeas corpus proceedings is extremely limited.

The issue of identity is challenged under section 941.10, Florida Statutes. The statute concerns only whether the person arrested in the asylum state is the person “charged with the crime” in the demanding state, § 941.20, Fla.Stat.

In other words, the court is not normally concerned with whether the person charged with the crime is guilty as charged. Other grounds for the habeas corpus action include an extradition bond being denied, being held too long, or other irregularities.

At Sammis Law Firm, our main office is in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County, FL. Our second office is in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL.

Our attorneys are experienced in fighting extradition cases throughout the greater Tampa Bay areas including Tampa in Hillsborough County, Bartow in Polk County, Brooksville in Hernando County, and New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, FL.

Call (813) 250-0500 to discuss your case.

Presumptions Related to Names, Photographs, and Fingerprints

In State v. Perrera, 443 So.2d 1016 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983), the court found that an identity of names raises a presumption that the petitioner is the same person named in the warrant.

If there is a discrepancy in the names, but the extradition documents include a photograph of the accused and an appropriate affidavit, a prima facie case can still be established. The burden is on the petitioner to overcome the prima facie case. State ex rel. Kimbro v. Starr, 65 So.2d 67 (Fla.1953).

If a prima facie case is shown, it will suffice until contradicted or overcome by other evidence. State v. Davila, 481 So. 2d 486, 488 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985). In extradition proceedings, a petitioner may overcome the State’s prima facie case by competent proof that the Governor’s warrant is invalid, or that it is not supported by competent evidence. Id.

An executive warrant which is regular on its face and complies with the essential statutory requirements establishes a prima facie showing of the propriety of extradition. State v. Scoratow, 456 So.2d 922 (Fla. 3d DCA 1984).

In some cases, there are “irregularity” in the documents because of a variance in the name on the warrant and charging documents and the defendant’s name. A charge is not insufficient as a basis for extradition, however, because it does not allege the fugitive’s true name.

In those cases, it is necessary that the fugitive is the particular person charged in the demanding state. See 35 C.J.S. Extradition § 14(9), (1960). For this reason, a person held for extradition may be sufficiently identified by a photograph attached to the requisition papers. See 31 Am.Jur.2d Extradition § 67 (1967).

Additional Resources

Extradition to Hernando County, FL – When a person is being held in another state on a warrant issued by a judge in Brooksville, FL, an attorney in Hernando County can begin the representation to fight for a dismissal of the charge or the best possible result in the case.

This article was last updated on Friday, November 22, 2019.