Navigating the Interstate Agreement on Detainers

At Silverman Thompson, we put our experience as former federal prosecutors to work to secure favorable outcomes for our clients. In March 2024, we successfully secured the dismissal of felony charges including armed carjacking, kidnapping, and armed robbery, among a host of related charges, against our client before he even appeared in Court.


What is the Interstate Agreement on Detainers?

The Interstate Agreement on Detainers (“IAD”) is an agreement between 48 states and the District of Columbia that streamlines the resolution of charges pending against sentenced prisoners. Louisiana and Mississippi are the only states that have not adopted the IAD.


Among other protections, the IAD:

  • Prevents sentenced prisoners from being shuttled between state and federal authorities;
  • Permits sentenced prisoners to request a speedy trial in cases brought in another jurisdiction; and
  • Imposes strict requirements for any violations, including dismissal.


Violations of the IAD are rare and require an attorney with expertise and experience to identify the issues and advocate on your behalf.


When a warrant is issued for a sentenced prisoner for charges brought by a separate jurisdiction, that jurisdiction can file a detainer with the jurisdiction where the prisoner is serving his sentence. The IAD provides a roadmap for sentenced prisoners and the government to resolve the new charges.


A sentenced prisoner can submit their request under the IAD with a standardized form. Maryland Extradition Manual (2023), Appendix D, pp. 156-161. Once a prisoner makes a request under the IAD, he must be brought to trial within 180 days.


As the Maryland Extradition Manual acknowledges, “[t]he State’s failure to strictly comply with the time requirements results in dismissal of the action unless a continuance or postponement is granted.” Such a dismissal is “with prejudice,” meaning the State cannot bring new charges for the same offense after dismissal under the IAD.


Dismissal of Charges Without Court Appearance


Our client was serving an unrelated sentence in Pennsylvania when he was charged in Baltimore City with armed carjacking. The Maryland authorities lodged a detainer with Pennsylvania.


Our client submitted an IAD request to face prosecution on the charges and waived extradition. Despite his request, Maryland took no action on his request for over two years – well beyond the 180-day limit imposed by the IAD. After our client was released in Pennsylvania, we presented our analysis and the supporting paperwork to the prosecuting authorities in Maryland.


Using our command and expertise of the strict requirements of the IAD, we successfully convinced the prosecutors that their failure to act on our client’s request violated the IAD and required a dismissal of the charges against him. As a result, the prosecutors dismissed the charges against our client without even having to appear in court.


Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys


Every case is unique. Past success stories like this do not guarantee future results, but they serve as a testament to the quality of work we provide at Silverman Thompson. If you have a pending criminal case or investigation that you would like to discuss or have questions about how the Interstate Agreement on Detainers pertains to you or a loved one, please call Eric Bacaj, Esq. at (443) 909-7503.

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