What is a Fugitive from Justice?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Bail money is returned, provided the accused attends his or her court proceedings.
Bail money is returned, provided the accused attends his or her court proceedings.

A fugitive from justice is a person who flees from a particular jurisdiction in order to avoid prosecution for his crimes. For example, a person who has been accused of kidnapping may flee to another country, state, or region to avoid trial and possible conviction. Usually, the person who flees is the one who fears conviction and punishment for the crime. In some cases, however, a witness can be considered a fugitive from justice. In such a situation, a person may flee to avoid testifying in a criminal case.

Fugitives who are caught are more likely to face severe punishments.
Fugitives who are caught are more likely to face severe punishments.

In some cases, a fugitive from justice may attempt to escape the law by fleeing to another jurisdiction within the same country. Sometimes this works, but often it does not. This is because law officials may seek fugitive warrants in other jurisdictions, facilitating the arrest of the criminal in the place to which he fled.

A fugitive from justice may also flee to another country. This can prove more problematic for law enforcement officials, especially if a fugitive has fled to a country that is across an ocean. It is not impossible, however, to apprehend a criminal who has done so. There are law enforcement organizations that have authority in investigating and arresting those who flee across country borders. The country seeking to arrest the individual does have to depend on the other country's cooperation in sending the criminal back to stand trial in the original country, however.

A person who flees to another country after being accused of kidnapping may be considered a fugitive of justice.
A person who flees to another country after being accused of kidnapping may be considered a fugitive of justice.

Besides fugitive warrants, there are other mechanisms in place for catching those who choose to run from the law. For example, there are television shows that provide details about fugitives, encouraging ordinary citizens to be alert for fugitives and notify law enforcement officials of their whereabouts. Likewise, other media outlets, including those on the Internet, may be used to provide photos of those who are wanted by the law.

A material witness may be compelled to testify even if he or she does not wish to.
A material witness may be compelled to testify even if he or she does not wish to.

Bounty hunters also play an important role in catching fugitives from justice. Bounty hunters track down criminals and haul them back to court in exchange for a monetary reward. These people usually work for bail bondsmen who paid bail for accused criminals before they fled. The bail bondsmen hire bounty hunters in order to make sure the criminals show up for court, which enables the bail bondsmen to recoup their money. In many places, licensed bounty hunters are allowed to carry guns and break into a criminal's residence in order to apprehend him.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Bail money is returned, provided the accused attends his or her court proceedings.
      By: diter
      Bail money is returned, provided the accused attends his or her court proceedings.
    • Fugitives who are caught are more likely to face severe punishments.
      By: ivanfff
      Fugitives who are caught are more likely to face severe punishments.
    • A person who flees to another country after being accused of kidnapping may be considered a fugitive of justice.
      By: Jaimie Duplass
      A person who flees to another country after being accused of kidnapping may be considered a fugitive of justice.
    • A material witness may be compelled to testify even if he or she does not wish to.
      By: TAGSTOCK2
      A material witness may be compelled to testify even if he or she does not wish to.