If I have a bench warrant for my arrest due to a failure to appear for a misdemeanor charge, will I be able to travel internationally and re-enter the US or will I be arrested at the airport?

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If I have a bench warrant for my arrest due to a failure to appear for a misdemeanor charge, will I be able to travel internationally and re-enter the US or will I be arrested at the airport?

However, my family is taking a vacation out the country next week. The airport is in a different city than the one in which I got the warrant.

Asked on January 2, 2016 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Security procedures when travelling internationally (unlike domestic travel) do involve checking databases that provide, among other things, a list of individuals with outstanding warrants. Therefore, it is possible that your name will show up in an airline security database check. Also, even if your name does not show up as you are leaving the country, you still have several additional security checks to pass.
First of all, when you arrive at your destination, you will need to provide a visa upon entering. It must be obtained in advance or at the airport and in order to obtain one, a background check is required. If you have any outstanding warrants, you won't receive a vis so you will be refused entry into the country. Since security procedures vary from country-to-country, you will not know exactly what they are until you get there.


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