Do warrants expire?

UPDATED: Apr 19, 2013

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Do warrants expire?

I was arrested 4 years ago but the DA did not charge me in court and I was released. Some time later misdemeanor charges were filed but I was not notified. I now live in another state. I have been told by the police in my current state of residence that I have a warrant but it is not extraditable. Since I have never been arraigned, when will the statute of limitations expire?

Asked on April 19, 2013 under Criminal Law, California


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In such a case, the statute of limitations only applies as to when charges can be brought. Assumng that they were timely filed, then the warrant is valid. And, unfortunately for you, warrants never expire. Although the offense is apparently of such a nature that the state will probably not extradite you, there is no gaurantee that it won't. Additionaly, this warrant will remain permanently on your record until it is cleared so that it will show up on any future employment background checks. Further, if you are ever stopped by the poice (for speeding, etc) and this warrant turns up, you will be taken into custody. While you may or may not be extdited, you will still have to go through the embarrassment and inconvienence of an arrest.

At this point, you would be well advised to seek legal counsel in the area of where the warrant was issued. They can best advise as to how to clear this up.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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