Ryan Lochte and International Extradition 101

Ryan Lochte has been front and center in the news this past week, and not for his achievements at the Rio Olympics. Unfortunately, he has learned that social media and statements made exaggerating what occurred has made things quite complicated for Mr. Lochte. Speedo has ended their almost decade long relationship and Mr. Lochte has lost other endorsement deals over what occurred, and its aftermath.

Mr. Lochte has hopefully learned that less is more when it comes to a multitude of things. First, it does appears that perhaps less celebrating that evening would have helped his woes. One witness has been quoted as saying he was “altered”. Second, stating what happened in simple terms with zero embellishing would have drastically improved the situation. Going on social media and talking it about it with Matt Lauer were not good choices. Social media can be very dangerous in cases where criminal charges are contemplated. Less is more should be a mantra that all of us should follow when it comes to public statements which is what social media basically is.

But the biggest question is whether Lochte will be extradited back to Brazil for any of the alleged crimes that may have occured there. If an indivdual is accused of committing a crime in another country, the country where the crime was committed may have a right to require the accused to return back for prosecution. There is an extradition treaty between the United States and Brazil. If there was no treaty in place, then the US would not need to address the issue at all.

In this instance, if Lochte was charged with falsifying a police report, for example, he would probably not be extradited as the alleged crime doesn’t rise to the level of severity normally required in these situations.

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