What to do if I have a friend that committed a crime and was given probatio but she never reported and has moved out of state?

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What to do if I have a friend that committed a crime and was given probatio but she never reported and has moved out of state?

She has been on the run for a year. I am interested in helping her get her life and freedom back but I am not sure how to help?

Asked on December 27, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Basically, you can't do anythig for your friend other than to urge her to stop running and take care of this. The first thing that she should do is to consult with a criminal defense lawyer ASAP. The fact is that warrants don't expire. So as long as she is on the run, she'll be at risk. Her best course of action is to hire an attoreney in the vicinity of where the warrant was issued. Experienced legal counsel will have local court contacts that tcan be used to her friend's best advantage. Bottom line, it will go better for her if she voluntrily turns herself in, as oppossed to being brought in against her will. But make no mistake, she will be brought before the court at some point. If she's caught doing somethng as little as jaywalking, she'll be taken into custody. Also, when applying for a license or undergoing an employment background check, she'll run the risk of arrest.

If mmoney is an issue for your friend, she can see if she qualifies for representation by Legal Aid (there are income limits) or see if they can recommend someone to help you. Also, check if there is a law school nearby; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases. Furhter, she can contact the local Bar Association in the county in question; they may have a list of attorneys who will take her case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances.


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