18 U.S. Code § 1073 - Flight to avoid prosecution or giving testimony

Whoever moves or travels in interstate or foreign commerce with intent either
(1) to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, under the laws of the place from which he flees, for a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, punishable by death or which is a felony under the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees, or
(2) to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceedings in such place in which the commission of an offense punishable by death or which is a felony under the laws of such place, is charged, or
(3) to avoid service of, or contempt proceedings for alleged disobedience of, lawful process requiring attendance and the giving of testimony or the production of documentary evidence before an agency of a State empowered by the law of such State to conduct investigations of alleged criminal activities, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. For the purposes of clause (3) of this paragraph, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.
Violations of this section may be prosecuted only in the Federal judicial district in which the original crime was alleged to have been committed, or in which the person was held in custody or confinement, or in which an avoidance of service of process or a contempt referred to in clause (3) of the first paragraph of this section is alleged to have been committed, and only upon formal approval in writing by the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or an Assistant Attorney General of the United States, which function of approving prosecutions may not be delegated.

Source

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 755; Apr. 6, 1956, ch. 177, § 1,70 Stat. 100; Pub. L. 87–368, Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 795; Pub. L. 91–452, title III, § 302,Oct. 15, 1970, 84 Stat. 932; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7020(b),Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §§ 330004(19), 330016(1)(K),Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2142, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(e),Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3511.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 408e (May 18, 1934, ch. 302, 48 Stat. 782; Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 735, 60 Stat. 789).
Said section 408e was rewritten and the phrase “offenses as they are defined either at common law or by the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees” were inserted to remove the ambiguity discussed in the opinion of the Circuit Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, in Brandenburg v. U.S., decided September 6, 1944, not yet reported [144 F2d 656], reversing the conviction of the appellant. The court held that Congress intended the enumerated offenses to mean those as defined at common law. The effect of the rewritten section is to make the statute applicable whether the offense committed is one defined at common law or by the law of the state from which the fugitive flees.
The words “offense punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary” were substituted for “felony” to make the statute uniformly applicable and to include crimes of the grade of felony even where, as in New Jersey, they are denominated as misdemeanor, high misdemeanor or otherwise.
Words “from any State, Territory, or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia” were omitted in view of definitive section 10 of this title.
Words “upon conviction thereof” were deleted as surplusage since punishment cannot be imposed until a conviction is secured.
Minor changes were made in phraseology.
Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294inserted at end of first par. “For the purposes of clause (3) of this paragraph, the term ‘State’ includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.”
1994—Pub. L. 103–322, § 330016(1)(K), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000”.
Pub. L. 103–322, § 330004(19), struck out “or which, in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State,” before “or (2) to avoid” and “or which in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State,” before “is charged, or (3)”.
1988—Pub. L. 100–690inserted “, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General,” after “the Attorney General”.
1970—Pub. L. 91–452inserted cl. (3) and “, or in which an avoidance of service of process or a contempt referred to in clause (3) of the first paragraph of this section is alleged to have been committed,” after “in custody or confinement”.
1961—Pub. L. 87–368substituted “a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, punishable by death or which is a felony under the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees, or which, in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State” for “murder, kidnaping, burglary, robbery, mayhem, rape, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson punishable as a felony, or extortion accompanied by threats of violence, or attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses as they are defined either at common law or by the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees”, “death or which is a felony under the laws of such place, or which in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State,” for “imprisonment in a penitentiary”, and required that prosecutions must be upon the formal written approval of the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General, which function may not be delegated.
1956—Act Apr. 6, 1956, inserted “, arson punishable as a felony” after “assault with a dangerous weapon”.
Effective Date of 1956 Amendment

Act Apr. 6, 1956, ch. 177, § 2,70 Stat. 100, provided that: “The amendment made by the first section of this Act [amending this section] shall take effect on the thirtieth day after the date of enactment of this Act [April 6, 1956].”
Parental Kidnaping and Interstate or International Flight To Avoid Prosecution Under Applicable State Felony Statutes

Pub. L. 96–611, § 10,Dec. 28, 1980, 94 Stat. 3573, provided that:
“(a) In view of the findings of the Congress and the purposes of sections 6 to 10 of this Act set forth in section 302 [probably means section 7 ofPub. L. 96–611, set out as a note under section 1738A of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure], the Congress hereby expressly declares its intent that section 1073 of title 18, United States Code, apply to cases involving parental kidnaping and interstate or international flight to avoid prosecution under applicable State felony statutes.
“(b) The Attorney General of the United States, not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this section [Dec. 28, 1980] (and once every 6 months during the 3-year period following such 120-day period), shall submit a report to the Congress with respect to steps taken to comply with the intent of the Congress set forth in subsection (a). Each such report shall include—
“(1) data relating to the number of applications for complaints under section 1073 of title 18, United States Code in cases involving parental kidnaping;
“(2) data relating to the number of complaints issued in such cases; and
“(3) such other information as may assist in describing the activities of the Department of Justice in conformance with such intent.”

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

18 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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