What should I about an out of state FTA warrant?

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What should I about an out of state FTA warrant?

In 2008 I was charged with burglary of a vehicle in TX. It was my first offense and I was offered community service and theft class (which would then be expunged from my record) but the class wasn’t offered in my hometown so I never did anything. Since then I’ve missed several court dates and I now live in KS and this offense is showing up on my record; I have a warrant for failure to appear and I can’t get a job. I don’t have money to get to TX. What is the best thing I could do in this situation? Is waiting it out an option?

Asked on May 30, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no waiting it out. Warrants once issued do not expire. Your personal appearance will most probably be required. The fact is that, jailtime can be given in such a case. You(or at the very least an attorney acting on your behalf) will need to appear in the state that issued the warrant. Since you have not yet been arrested, turning yourself in as opposed to appearing before the judge courtesy of the jail bus will be of help.  You need to retain a lawyer in the area where all of this occurred.  They'll have local contacts with the court and will best be able to negotiate on your behalf. If money is an issue, see if you qualify for representation by the Public Defender's office or 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 to the court in question; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle such cases.  Additionally, you can contact the local Bar Association in the county in which you must appear; they may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances.

One thing is for sure, do not ignore this situation. If you are stopped for even something as minor as jaywalking you will be taken into custody.  Even if the state in question doesn't want to take the time and expense to extradite you for this, you can be arrested again in the future and have to go through the hassle and humiliation each and every time.  Additionally, this will all turn up in any employment background check that may be run on you.


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