Can the police issue a failure to appear warrant if I was never contacted on the issue or even aware that there was one?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can the police issue a failure to appear warrant if I was never contacted on the issue or even aware that there was one?

I was at a friend’s house recently and got into an argument with them, so I left. Months later I went to apply for a job. Apparently the friend made some allegations that I got violent, which was not true.

Asked on November 8, 2017 under Criminal Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The police can issue it if they and the court believe you had been provided notice of the court date--they don't know what you did or did not receive or were told. Contact the police: explain that you understand there is a warrant for you for failure to appear but that you had never received notice to appear in the first place--i.e. your failure to appear was purely inadvertant. Ask how to clear up the situation. If the police are not helpful (e.g. don't know the procedure), contact one or both of the prosecutor's office and the court clerk--at least one will be able to help you.

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