May 30, 2017

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What to do if you are facing extradition

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Extradition is the process by which a prosecuting state arranges to transport a criminal defendant from a foreign state.  When that process is between two states in the United States, the best practice is to be proactive.  As explained below, extradition is easily accomplished but the process is slow and unpleasant to the point of cruelty.

Extradition transport: I have had the extradition experience described to me by numerous clients.  Each story is a little different, but there are common themes.  First, the transport bus or van has its own itinerary.  The defendants travel where the transport company finds most convenient.  I know of one person brought to Maine from North Carolina by way of Oklahoma.  You are locked down during the transport and stops for bathroom breaks are difficult and, therefore, rare.  Persons with medical conditions may not receive their medications or proper care.  You spend non-transport time in jails or prisons in various conditions.  In short, avoid extradition at all costs if possible.

Pre-arrest: If you are fortunate enough to receive notice of another state’s intent to extradite you, understand this: Extradition is almost certainly a foregone conclusion.  The requesting state need only provide probable cause proof that a crime was committed in the requesting state and you are the person who committed it.  A copy of an indictment or an affidavit coupled with sufficient identifying documents will get you arrested and perhaps jailed until the requesting state arranges to transport you.  Because of the inevitability of extradition, those with advance notice should travel immediately to the requesting state.  This seems counter-intuitive and is a bitter pill to swallow for some, but consider the alternative: If you are going to be extradited you are going to be standing in front of a bail judge in the requesting state sooner or later.  Your voluntary appearance severely undercuts the requesting state’s argument that you are a flight risk.  Therefore, bail is likely to be set lower.

Post-arrest: If you are arrested on an extradition warrant, obtain counsel if possible but by all means argue for bail that will allow you to travel to the requesting state.  Where there are no prior bail violations and no convictions for failure to appear, then I have seen courts order release on conditions ranging from high cash to electronic monitoring to personal recognizance.  A recent client took his electronic monitor with him as he traveled from one state to another.  When making the argument on bail and self-report, make sure to share the above article with the judge.

No bail: Although the requesting state can ask for more time, judges usually set 30 days as the limit for the requesting state to arrange for your removal.  You will be asked to waive extradition proceedings.  This should be reviewed with an criminal defense lawyer Bangor ME trusts, which most states will provide at no cost.  The important consideration on the waiver is that you are entitled to credit for time served from the moment you sign the waiver.  If you have pressing issues that prevent you from signing an extradition waiver, your time in custody will not count against your sentence (if there is one) until you are returned to the requesting state.

DAVID BATE LAWThanks to our friends and contributors from David Bate Law Firm for their insight into extradition.

Property Liability & Concealed Firearms

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Many are getting used to commonly seeing the signs with the no gun symbol posted on the doors of businesses. But what happens if there is violence in one of these buildings? Unfortunately, Illinois concealed-carry gun law fails to address who has liability if there is an incident in a gun-free business zone.

Unlike other states, Illinois’ law lacks an immunity provision protecting local business owners from liability, as a personal injury lawyer Chicago IL trusts can explain. So if a sign prohibiting guns is posted at the entrance of a building or business, a person brings in a gun anyway and an incident occurs, the building and/or business can be held liable. Patrons and employees could argue that they didn’t have the opportunity to protect themselves because they couldn’t carry their own gun. The reverse is also true. If the building or business owner allows guns and an incident occurs, they could be sued by employees and patrons because guns were allowed.

This Catch-22 in the law, frustrates many business owners. “I wish we had some guidance in another way but unfortunately there will be an incident, it will be litigated,” said Michael Cornicelli, Exec VP of BOMA. the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago. BOMA recently surveyed its membership, who represent 80% of the city’s downtown commercial office space. In the 30% of members who responded, nearly half have chosen to prohibit guns within their buildings.  The number one reason given for this choice is concerns about safety. Nearly three-quarters said they are concerned about liability and legal issues.

“We would like to see a provision added that addresses the liability issues. Other jurisdictions, Wisconsin for example, provide that if a building chooses to allow conceal carry or prohibit it, that building owner, building manager’s liability for any resulting incident is not any greater for that choice than in the absence of that choice,” said Cornicelli.

Under some state laws, including Illinois law, public places are automatically gun-free zones, but residences and private businesses have a choice on the matter. Those now legally eligible to carry a concealed weapon feel the law should stand as is.

The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLCThanks to our friends and contributors from the The Law Office of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into property liability and concealed firearms.