Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 7. Extradition and Fugitives from Justice.


§ 23–701. Warrants for the arrest of fugitives from justice.

Whenever any person who is (1) within the District of Columbia, (2) charged with any offense committed in any State, and (3) liable by the Constitution and laws of the United States to be delivered over upon the demand of the Governor of that State, any judge of the Superior Court may, upon complaint on oath or affirmation of any credible witness, setting forth the offense, that the person is a fugitive from justice, and such other matters as are necessary to bring the case within the provisions of law, issue a warrant to bring the person so charged before the Superior Court, to answer the complaint.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 631, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-701.

1973 Ed., § 23-701.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-803.01 and § 23-702.


§ 23–702. Procedure on arrest of fugitives.

(a) Any person arrested upon a warrant issued pursuant to section 23-701, or arrested within the District of Columbia as a fugitive from justice without a warrant having been issued, shall be taken before the Criminal Division of the Superior Court for preliminary examination on a complaint charging him as a fugitive.

(b) If, upon the examination of the person charged, it shall appear to the court that there is reasonable cause to believe that the complaint is true and that the person may be lawfully demanded of the chief judge, the person shall be detained or released according to law, in like manner as if the offense had been committed in the District of Columbia, to appear before the court at a future date, allowing thirty days to obtain a requisition from the Governor of the State from which the person is a fugitive. The complaint of fugitivity from another jurisdiction shall create a presumption that the person is unlikely to appear if released, which may be overcome only by clear and convincing proof.

(c) If the person so released or detained shall appear before the court upon the day ordered, he shall be discharged, unless he shall be demanded by requisition, pursuant to subsection (g) of this section or section 23-704, or unless the court shall find cause to detain or to release him as provided by subsection (b) of this section until a later day; but regardless of whether the person shall be detained or released as provided in subsection (b) of this section or discharged, his delivery to any person authorized by the warrant of the Governor shall be a discharge of any bond or obligation.

(d) The Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department shall give notice to the police official or sheriff of the city or county from which the person is a fugitive that the person is so held in the District of Columbia.

(e) A person detained as provided by this section shall not be detained in jail longer than to allow a reasonable time for the person receiving the notice required by subsection (d) of this section to apply for and obtain a proper requisition for the person detained according to the circumstances of the case and the distance of the place where the offense is alleged to have been committed.

(f)(1) At any time prior to the filing of a requisition, a person arrested pursuant to this section may in open court waive further proceedings pursuant to this chapter.

(2) Following waiver, a judge of the Superior Court may, in his discretion, if the United States attorney consents, release the person upon such conditions as the judge shall deem necessary to insure his appearance before the proper official in the State from which he is a fugitive, and shall otherwise order his return to the jurisdiction of that State in the custody of a proper official.

(3) Following waiver, a person not released pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be ordered to return to the jurisdiction from which he is a fugitive in the custody of a proper official, and may be detained to await return.

(4) A person detained pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection for more than three days (not including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) shall be returned to the court and shall thereupon be released pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, unless the court shall find good reason to extend his detention for an additional three days to obtain the attendance of a proper official of the demanding jurisdiction.

(g) If a person has not waived further proceedings pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, and a requisition from the Governor of the jurisdiction from which the person is a fugitive is presented to the court, the court shall order the requisition to be filed and referred to the chief judge for extradition proceedings pursuant to section 23-704, and shall order the person committed pending those proceedings.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 631, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-702.

1973 Ed., § 23-702.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-803.01, § 23-703, and § 23-902.

Cross References

Bail, see §§ 16-704 and 23-1301 et seq.


§ 23–703. Failure to appear.

Any person released pursuant to section 23-702 who fails to appear as required shall be punished by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 632, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a); June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 283(c), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-703.

1973 Ed., § 23-703.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not exceeding $5,000”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 283(c) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 23–704. Extradition.

(a) In all cases where the laws of the United States provide that fugitives from justice shall be delivered up, the chief judge of the Superior Court shall cause to be apprehended and delivered up fugitives from justice who shall be found within the District of Columbia, in the same manner and under the same regulations as the executive authority of a State is required to do by the provisions of chapter 209 of Title 18, United States Code, and all executive and judicial officers are required to obey the lawful precepts or other process issued for that purpose, and to aid and assist in that delivery.

(b) The chief judge of the Superior Court may also surrender, on demand of the Governor of any State, any person in the District of Columbia charged in that State in the manner provided in subsection (a) of this section with committing an act in the District of Columbia, or in another State, intentionally resulting in a crime in the State whose executive authority is making the demand, even though the accused was not in that State at the time of the commission of the crime, and has not fled therefrom.

(c) No person apprehended in accordance with the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be delivered over to the agent whom the executive authority demanding him shall have appointed to receive him unless he shall first be taken before the chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia who shall inform him of the demand made for his surrender, and of the crime with which he is charged, and that he has the right to demand and procure legal counsel.

(d) If the person or his counsel shall state that he desires to test the legality of the person’s arrest, the chief judge shall hold a hearing to determine whether the person shall be delivered over as demanded. At the hearing, the person shall have the same rights to challenge his detention and extradition as if the hearing were upon a writ of habeas corpus.

(e) If the chief judge shall order the person delivered over, he may appeal, within twenty-four hours, from that order to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals if the chief judge who rendered the order, or a judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, issues a certificate of probable cause. The appeal shall be expedited by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person who is authorized to demand a hearing pursuant to subsection (d) of this section shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to demand such a hearing or that the chief judge, after hearing, has ordered him delivered over, unless it also appears that the remedy by hearing is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.

(f) Nothing contained in this subsection shall prevent a person from waiving his right to appear before the chief judge of the Superior Court and voluntarily returning in custody of a proper official to the jurisdiction of the State which is demanding him.

(g) No person demanded by the Governor of a State pursuant to this section shall be released upon bond or other obligation except pursuant to an order of a court of the demanding State.

(h) Any associate judge designated by the chief judge or acting chief judge shall have the same power to act pursuant to this section as the chief judge.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 632, Pub. L. 91-358, Title II, § 210(a); June 3, 1997, D.C. Law 11-275, § 14(e), 44 DCR 1408; May 22, 1998, D.C. Law 12-114, § 3(b), 45 DCR 486.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-704.

1973 Ed., § 23-704.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-702 and § 23-706.

Cross References

Representation of indigents, see § 11-2601 et seq.


§ 23–705. Removal proceedings and returns to foreign countries not affected.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall repeal, modify, or in any way affect existing law concerning the procedure for the return of any person apprehended in the District of Columbia to a Federal judicial district to answer a Federal charge, or repeal, modify, or affect existing law or treaty concerning the return to a foreign country of a person apprehended or detained in the District of Columbia as a fugitive from a foreign country.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 633, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-705.

1973 Ed., § 23-705.


§ 23–706. Confinement.

(a) The agent of the demanding State to whom the prisoner may have been delivered in accordance with the provisions of section 23-704, may, when necessary, confine the prisoner in a facility of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, and the Department of Corrections must receive and safely keep the prisoner for such reasonable time as will enable the officer or person having charge of him to proceed on his route, such officer or person being chargeable with the expense of keeping.

(b) The officer or agent of a demanding State to whom a prisoner may have been delivered following extradition proceedings in another State, or to whom a prisoner may have been delivered after waiving extradition in the other State, and who is passing through the District of Columbia with a prisoner for the purpose of immediately returning the prisoner to the demanding State, may, when necessary, confine the prisoner in a facility of the Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections must receive and safely keep the prisoner for such reasonable time as will enable the officer or agent to proceed on his route, such officer or agent being chargeable with the expense of keeping. That officer or agent shall produce and show to the Department of Corrections satisfactory written evidence of the fact that he is actually transporting the prisoner to the demanding State after a requisition by the executive authority of the demanding State. The prisoner shall not be entitled to demand a new requisition while in the District of Columbia.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 633, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-706.

1973 Ed., § 23-706.


§ 23–707. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter —

(1) the term “State” includes any territory or possession of the United States; and

(2) the term “Governor” means the executive authority of a State.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-707.

1973 Ed., § 23-707.