People travel all of the time for both business and pleasure. The more you travel, the less likely you are to carefully investigate laws and cultural issues at a destination. After all, if you immersed yourself in the culture of every place you traveled, it could be overwhelming. Failing to do so, however, can have consequences.
You may have unintentionally violated a law in another country or you may simply get accused of doing so. When that happens, you could end up in a perilous legal situation. If a foreign country decides to charge you with a crime, you could face extradition from the United States.
Extradition is what happens when you're accused of a crime in one state or country but then travel into another state or country. That could mean crossing the state line from Georgia to Florida, or it could mean getting on a plane and crossing the ocean to come home after a trip abroad. State-to-state extradition is a serious issue, but international extradition can be downright terrifying.
If you're accused of a crime in another country, don't assume that you won't face charges. The United States has extradition treaties with 107 countries, meaning you could get sent abroad to face trial.
Extradition helps to protect law and order
The United States creates extradition agreements with other countries via treaty. Both countries agree to the terms of the extradition treaty and agree to comply with legal requests from the other nation when laws get broken. This allows for better international cooperation in terms of law enforcement and protects victims from having criminals leave the country to avoid charges.
Extradition can create dangerous legal situations for some citizens accused of crimes. Not all countries give prisoners the same rights as the United States does. Ignorance of the law is never an adequate defense for criminal acts, even if you're in another country with a language barrier.
Fighting extradition requires an experienced attorney
There are a number of common questions about international extradition. Some of the most common questions include:
How can you possibly face a jury of your peers if your trial will be held in another country?
Is there rampant corruption in the country where you're accused of a crime?
Was the crime something that is legal in your home state or country?
What are the potential expenses and penalties involved in an international prosecution?
The answers for these questions will vary, depending on the crime and country involved in your case. You don't want just any attorney defending you if you're facing extradition. You need to work with an attorney who understands international extraditions and how serious they can be.
Failing to work with a lawyer when you're facing extradition could result in spending months or years in a foreign jail. Your attorney can help fight the extradition request or negotiate a plea deal that will keep you here in the United States. If you're facing extradition, you shouldn't be trying to handle it alone.