What to do if I know someone who was in jail in for a misdemeanor drug and theft charges but never followed through on their probation?

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What to do if I know someone who was in jail in for a misdemeanor drug and theft charges but never followed through on their probation?

After he got out he was sentenced to a year of probation but never showed up for the first drug test. Several months later he left the state and has been living in that other state for over a year. He has a warrant for probation violation but doesn’t plan on ever returning. He hasn’t been arrested since but cops have run his name and informed him that he has a warrant but say “there’s nothing we can do about it”. Is that true? Will the warrant ever expire? Will it keep compounding the longer its left alone? What is the best thing to do?

Asked on January 20, 2013 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

Jonathan Hackworth / Blumenauer Hackworth, P.A.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I agree with my colleague above, your best bet is to immediately retain an attorney to assist you in the matter.  An attorney can work to minimize the time your friend spends in custody, after the warrant is served, or coordinate a self-arrest.  My firm offers free case consultations in these matters.  Good luck. 

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Hello.  The situation you describe is not uncommon.  You ask what is the best thing to do. Assuming Minnesota is involved, I recommend that either you yourself or the person with the legal issue privately seek out the counsel of an attorney knowledgeable in this area of law to provide you with legal advice for the situation.  I would privately discuss the matter in great detail with you (or the person with the legal issue) and then provide legal advice that aims to be best-suited to the situation. Sometimes there are several choices of action (including the possibility of inaction, doing nothing at all).  Oftentimes the attorney can assist you in quite helpful and effective ways, and, in my view, the sooner you seek attorney help, the more likely it is that the outcome may be (relatively) positive.  The law puts special protections for privacy around the attorney-client relationship because people need help that is 'safe'.  Oftentimes a person with unresolved criminal charges is living in a state of constant fear and wariness, not sure who can be trusted, if anyone.  Certainly those people who know about the situation and are 'close to it' are affected and worried and concerned.  When you seek a private attorney to help you, I recommend that you make many phone calls for help, because it is critically important that you feel a sense of great safety and trust in the attorney-client relationship.  Take care.


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