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by Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.

Extradition is a special process, involving international law, including treaties and conventions, and local administrative, process, penal and a special extradition law. An experienced lawyer can really make a difference in a successful representation.

In general terms, extradition is the formal process by which an individual is delivered from the country where he is located, the requested country, to the requesting country, in order to face criminal prosecution, or if already convicted, to serve a sentence. The participants in extradition are therefore the two countries and the individual who is the subject of the proceedings. The individual being requested for extradition has fundamental rights that must be respected and guaranteed, under our judicial system.

Attorney Arcelio Hernandez has represented several important extradition cases. In most cases, he has been able to knock off charges and currently he is defending persons requested by the United States government where a final decision is pending. Cases involve financial crimes and well as international parental kidnapping cases.

Our firm has developed a reputation as an advocate of father’s rights, and has fought to defend the visitation rights of fathers unjustly separated from their offspring. But the firm has also represented many women where the man is the one who neglects his responsibilities, so there is a desire to maintain a just balance in matters involving gender issues.

One client, Michael W. Lewis whose name was made public in the news, was requested by the United States after bringing his daughters to Costa Rica. Out of a total of 15 counts, attorney Arcelio Hernandez fought to bring down the number of charges for which extradation was granted, and in the end only two counts of international parental kindnapping were authorized for extradition, which under the Treaty of Extradition between Costa Rican and the United States, means that he could only be tried for those two counts, not the other counts involving inter-state financial crimes. He is just one example of the ample experience attorney Arcelio Hernandez has representing clients in the extradition process.

Here are links to some news stories involving extradition cases handled by attorney Arcelio Hernandez Mussio:



  • Important News Article
  • Court cuts counts in abduction case
    By the A.M. Costa Rica staff  Michael Louis is a U.S. citizen detained in Moravia in north San José because he fled from the St. Louis, Mo., area with his two children from the United States without permission of his ex-wife and the courts.  After he was captured here and his children returned to the mother, he became a resident of San Sebastian, the prison south of downtown, and the U.S. government began extradition proceedings against him to bring him back to face 14 charges ranging from parental adoption to racketeering.
  • The Costa Rican criminal court dismissed all but two charges in an extradition hearing this week, according to the man’s lawyer, Arcelio Hernández Mussio.
  • The lawyer also said he would file an appeal to get the two remaining charges thrown out.
    The dismissal means that Louis may only be tried in the United States on the two remaining charges, the lawyer said. The two remaining charges are parental abduction, resulting from taking the children to Costa Rica.
  • Another source said that Costa Rican law does not recognize parental abduction and, as a result, the case brought by the U.S. government might not result in extradition. Costa Rica only will extradite if the charge alleged is a crime here.
  • The charges that the U.S. government brought against Louis ranged from tampering with a witness, to structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, to interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises, according to his lawyer.   – http://www‌.amcostari‌ca.com/062802.htm