What can I do if I was charged with a DWI in another state 6 years ago but I was never able to make it back to take care of it?

Now I have a warrant but only in that state because it hasn’t came up on my criminal background check. They have a hold on my driver’s license when I went to go renew it. I live about 12 hours away and have no way there to take care of it. I called a few years ago to see what I had to do to take care of it and the clerk’s office said that, “I have a warrant and I would have to appear and don’t get caught…or Im going to jail”. I have been on disability for 4 years and haven’t driven in a while. This has ruined my life. Is there anyway I can take care of it without having to go there?

Asked on July 1, 2014 under Criminal Law, West Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You will more than likely have to personally appear in court. You should contact an attorney in the area where all this occurred. They can use their local contacts to your best advantage, especially if there is a disability involved. Also, they may be able to get the charges dismissed on a technicality or at least reduced. However, taking care of this sooner rather then later is best. While the warrant has not come up on a simple criminal background check to date, there is no guarantee that it will not show up in the future. Additionally, a police background check is more thorough so if you are stopped by them (for example, on a DUI or even jaywalking) you could face arrest (whether or not you would be extradited is another matter). This could be publicly embarrassing for you at the very least. And the fact is that warrants do not expire, so you need to take care of the situation. Again, seeking legal counsel in the jurisdiction in which the warrant was issued is advisable.

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