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Fugitive Agreement

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Understanding Fugitive Agreements: What You Need to Know

In the United States, a fugitive is someone who has fled from justice or is evading arrest for a crime they have committed. Fugitives can be difficult to track down since they often go into hiding in an attempt to avoid arrest and prosecution. However, law enforcement agencies have a powerful tool at their disposal: the fugitive agreement.

What is a Fugitive Agreement?

A fugitive agreement is a legally binding agreement between two or more jurisdictions, states, or countries, designed to improve the efficient and effective cooperation in arresting and extraditing fugitives. A fugitive agreement can be made between two states, two countries or even between a state and a foreign country. The agreement outlines the terms and conditions for the arrest, extradition, and prosecution of fugitives.

The purpose of a fugitive agreement is to simplify the process for law enforcement agencies to arrest and transport fugitives across state or national borders. Fugitive agreements set out the rules and procedures that should be followed to facilitate the apprehension and extradition of a fugitive.

What are the Types of Fugitive Agreements?

There are two primary types of fugitive agreements: interstate and international.

Interstate Fugitive Agreements

In the United States, interstate fugitive agreements are governed by the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA). The act provides a legal framework for law enforcement agencies in different states to work together to track down and arrest fugitives. Under the UCEA, states have agreed to extradite fugitives for certain offenses, such as felony crimes and misdemeanors.

International Fugitive Agreements

International fugitive agreements are agreements between two or more countries. The most well-known international fugitive agreement is the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. It is an international treaty that seeks to combat organized crime, including money laundering, human trafficking, and other criminal activities.

Another example is the U.S.-Mexico Extradition Treaty. The treaty allows the United States and Mexico to extradite fugitives from one country to the other for certain crimes. The treaty helps law enforcement agencies in both countries to apprehend suspected criminals who have fled across the border.

What are the Benefits of Fugitive Agreements?

Fugitive agreements provide numerous benefits for law enforcement agencies. The agreements help to streamline the extradition process by establishing clear procedures for apprehension, transport, and prosecution. They also improve international cooperation, making it easier for countries to work together to track down and arrest criminals.

In addition, fugitive agreements help to ensure that fugitives are held accountable for their crimes. By making it difficult for fugitives to evade justice, the agreements discourage criminal behavior and promote public safety.


Fugitive agreements are an essential tool for law enforcement agencies in their efforts to track down and apprehend fugitives. The agreements establish clear procedures for the extradition of fugitives, making it easier for law enforcement agencies to work together across state and national borders. These agreements help to ensure that fugitives are held accountable for their crimes, promoting public safety and discouraging criminal behavior.