If a person is out of the country andfails to appear in court, will they be arrested when they try to re-enter the country?

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If a person is out of the country andfails to appear in court, will they be arrested when they try to re-enter the country?

MY BROTHER IS IN MEXICO RIGHT NOW. HE MISSED HIS COURT DATE FOR PETITE LARCENY AND THERE’S WARRANT. WILL IMMIGRATION ARREST HIM?

Asked on December 18, 2010 under Criminal Law, Nevada

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is every likelihood that he will be arrested.  Immigration officials can run a criminal background check on anyone trying to enter the country.  Whether not they will, is another matter.  Still, once your brother missed his court date, a bench warrant for his arrest would have been issued.  And a warrant will turn up on a background check.

At this point, he would be well advised to seek the services of an experienced criminal law attorney in the area where the warrant would have been issued.  They will have local contacts with the court that will be invaluable.  The fact is that your brother not only needs to deal with the outstanding warrant, but also the underlying charge for the offense that he was charged with.  The sooner he gets  an attorney the better.  And until he does, I would advise for him not to try and re-enter the US.


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