How long will an arrest warrant stay active?

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How long will an arrest warrant stay active?

Preliminary hearing (assault with great bodily harm) found good cause to continue the prosecution. Defendant, who was on bail, fails to appear and in fact on the run and hidden well. How long will the warrant stay active? The maximum penalty taking into account the other misdemeanors and enhancements is 8 years.

Asked on August 27, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Warrants never expire.  Also, as to the underlying charges, even though there is something called a "statute of limitations" that only has to do with the time in which charges must be filed.  Since they have already been filed, it does not apply to this case.  The only way to handle this is for the defendant to turn themselves in.  Otherwise they will be looking over their shoulder until they are taken into custody. And make no mistake, in time this is just what will happen. 

They need to speak with an attorney ASAP in the area where the warrant was issued.  They advise the best way to handle things.


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