There is an Extradition warrant in my name. What shall I do?
Not many people know about the existence of European Arrest Warrant until the police arrive on their doorstep to arrest them, or they come into contact with the police for some other reason; either they are arrested for another offence, stopped and spoken to by police while they are driving, or sometimes when they themselves are a witness or a victim of crime. If you do know that there is an European Arrest Warrant (or an International Arrest Warrant from a country outside the European Union) it is often 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 on.
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 legal advice, but it is likely that this will be provided over the telephone, and that 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 us 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 later on.
Where ever 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 you live 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.
If you or your loved one faces extradition and would like expert advice or assistance, please call John Howey on 020 7388 1658, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.