If I have a warrant out for my arrest, can I handle this myself or should I hire an attorney?

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If I have a warrant out for my arrest, can I handle this myself or should I hire an attorney?

I was just stopped by a police officer for a minor traffic violation. After running my info, he tells me I have a warrant (embezzlement) out of a city/state I lived in 15 years ago. Additionally, the description he gave was off by 11″ and 180 lbs. I have lived in my current city/state for the past 15 years and have had minor legal issues (possession, no insurance and speeding) and have never been made aware of this warrant. Should I seek to contact and resolve this mistake myself or seek legal representation to make the proper inquiries?

Asked on August 25, 2013 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is a serious matter and should be handled be an experienced criminal defense attorney. For example, the description being off, especially after 15 years, will not automatically insult you from prosecution. Convictions have been made on less. Even if it obvious that the perpetrator was not you, you will still have to deal with the criminal justice system.

You need to take care of this warrant because warrants don't expire. So whether or not the authorities actively pusue you, as you can see, it can come up even for a minor traffic violation. And next time you may be taken into custody. It will also appear on any background check that may be conducted by an employer, etc.

At this point, the attorney that you should consult with should be one who practices in the area in which the warrant was issued. They can best used their local court contacts to help you.


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