There is an Extradition warrant in my name. What shall I do?
Not many people know about the existence of a European Arrest Warrant until the police arrive on their doorstep.
They may be arrested for another offence, stopped and spoken to by police while driving, or sometimes when they themselves are a witness or a victim of crime.
In either scenario, it can be a significant shock, and it can be challenging to know what to do next.
So, what are the next steps if there is an extradition warrant in your name? Extradition law can be complex, so read on to discover the process and how JFH Crime can help.
Extradition warrants: next steps
If you do know that there is a European Arrest Warrant, now known as a TaCA warrant (or an International Arrest Warrant from a country outside the European Union) in your name, it is advisable to surrender yourself to your local police station or to Westminster Magistrates Court, as this will increase your chances of being granted bail later.
For most people facing extradition proceedings, their arrest comes as a complete surprise. It is likely that your arrest will be carried out by your local police force, who will often come to your home or place of work. You will be taken to your local police station where you will be booked in. During this procedure you must also be handed a copy of the arrest warrant.
You can ask at the police station for advice on extradition law, but it is likely that this will be provided over the telephone, and you will not be able to speak to a solicitor of your choice. However, you should be able to speak to your family. They can contact JFH Crime directly and arrange for us to attend the police station to offer you free independent legal advice.
If your passport or ID card has not been taken by the police, try to have it brought to the police station. You will need to give it to the police if you are given bail, and if the police can confirm they have it, this will save time in the future.
Extradition court proceedings
Wherever you are in the country you must then be taken to Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as practicable. In practice, that means the same day if you are arrested very early in the morning or live in or near London. If not, it is likely to be the next day.
Westminster is the only Magistrates Court in the country that deals with extradition cases. The Court is open Monday to Saturday, including Bank Holidays. In some cases, a decision may be made at the first hearing, so it is vital you find legal support from the beginning of your extradition case.
JFH Crime has an active presence at Westminster Magistrates Court on a daily basis, and will provide crucial support and advice during the stressful initial stages of dealing with an extradition case.
How JFH Crime can help
The prospect of facing extradition is daunting, and without sound legal advice, it can be challenging to manage – but you don’t have to face extradition alone.
JFH Crime are experts in extradition law, committed to providing thorough, robust advice to everyone who needs legal assistance. With over thirty years of experience, we are proud to have a proven track record of client satisfaction, and always strive for exemplary service and results.
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.