Facing a European Arrest Warrant can be a daunting prospect. It is not uncommon for individuals to be arrested at international airports or other entry points due to EAWs issued against them. In such times of crisis, the advice of experienced extradition lawyers is crucial.
When faced with an EAW, you will have the option of challenging or accepting it. Deciding whether to challenge the EAW is a time-sensitive matter, and it is vital to use that time correctly. Once engaged, our extradition team will focus on your defence strategy and outline your legal rights.
A national judicial authority may issue an EAW for prosecuting a person when the offence for which the person is being charged has a penalty of at least 1 year of prison or execution of a custodial sentence or detention order when the individual has been sentenced to a prison term of at least 4 months.
However, European Arrest Warrants are not always justified and have been issued for minor offences. There have been controversies with their issuance, and complications exist with its implementation and use across the different Member States. For these reasons, it is advisable to consult with experienced legal professionals.
Member States can refuse to carry out an EAW, and this refusal applies in cases such as:
- Same offence: double jeopardy whereby the person arrested has already been judged for the same offence;
- Underage: the person is a minor, whereby the individual arrested has not reached the age of criminal responsibility in the executing country;
- Amnesty: the offence is covered by amnesty in the executing country.
Furthermore, other potential grounds to challenge the EAW can be determined under:
- Lack of Double Criminality: this applies for offences outside of the 32 listed in the Framework Decision on EAW;
- Time Limit: the time of the crime means that the statute of limitations applies;
- Domestic Criminal Procedure: The executing country has begun criminal proceedings against the individual for the same acts;
- Nature of Judgment: the person has been judged in absentia, without respect for certain conditions.
Our extradition experts, once engaged, will work tirelessly to examine your case from all angles. With this approach, we can create strategies suited to your individual case. Contact us now using the contact details below.