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Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP) or Giving Testimony

Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution

After a suspect or a defendant in a criminal investigation bails out of jail, they often leave the state or the country to avoid prosecution. This is especially true if the case is a murder case or an attempted murder case.

Overview of the Law

Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution was enacted in 1934 for the purpose of assisting law enforcement officials apprehend fugitives. The Federal Bureau of Investigation received responsibility for fugitives convicted or accused of extortion accompanied by threats of violence, assault with a dangerous weapon, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or murder. In 1961, every felony offense that occurred in the 50 states was added to the crimes listed above and are now subject to this law.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution or Giving Testimony

You may not leave your current location under the following circumstances:

  • You wish to avoid being prosecuted in a court of law.
  • You have been convicted of a crime, and you wish to avoid being incarcerated for a crime that is either a felony or subject to the death penalty.
  • You wish to avoid giving testimony in a criminal felony or a death penalty case.
  • You wish to avoid being served, or you hope to avoid contempt proceedings.

Punishment for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution

If you are found guilty of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution, there is the possibility that you could face as much as five years in prison. On top of that, you may receive a fine. These penalties would be in addition to the penalties you received from the original offense. Your case for the original offense could also be in jeopardy because of your flight. Because you tried to escape prior to your court date, the judge would not be inclined to grant you bail because you have proven yourself to be a flight risk.

Avoiding Prosecution Isn’t Worth It

There are several reasons that make avoiding prosecution a bad idea. For example, the crime for which you were being prosecuted or were convicted has a statute of limitations. You may be able to be gone long enough for the statute of limitations to pass, but you will not be free to return to the United States. The statute of limitations doesn’t expire when the person accused of the crime disappears. Therefore, you would be subject to prosecution no matter when you come back to the U.S.

You may be extradited back to the United States if you run to another country. With international extradition, the United States would be able to ask the country you are living in to send you back to the U.S. because you are avoiding prosecution or the need to give testimony. In order for the U.S. to request your extradition, it would need to have a treaty with the country. If you plan to go to a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty, it still isn’t worth it to run to that country to avoid prosecution because of all of the other penalties that you would face.

If you run to another state, the state in which the crime took place would need to file the documents so that you can be returned to your state. Your state would need to declare that you left the state with the intention of avoiding prosecution, and this would prove that you are a fugitive and would make you subject to the penalties listed above for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.

If you decide to run away before your court date, the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest when you do not show up at the appointed time, and you will be in contempt of court. Once you leave the state, the judge will issue a fugitive from justice warrant.

After you become a fugitive from justice, bounty hunters can come after you. The laws give bounty hunters the ability to search for fugitives from justice after they fail to show up for their court dates or skip out on bail. Bounty hunters may even be more diligent in finding you than law enforcement officers because bounty hunters get a lot of money for their troubles.

Lastly, your reputation is in danger if you run from the law. The police departments regularly put mugshots up on their social media webpages and share them with other media sources, so your photograph could be plastered from one location of the country to the other. It just isn’t worth it.

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