Q: Court date yrs ago that I was not aware and now I have 2 warrants. What to do to not get arrested but get new date?
Had a car accident around 2015. Received 5 misdemenaors and 1 felony charge. Went to first court date and was told that they were trying to send it to Federal court and would receive a letter for court in 6 months to a yr. Never received a new court date. Recently was working at a job that I have had since Dec 2016 and my job recently fired me due to having 2 warrants. They gave me the background check which showed 2 warrants in April 2016. Looked up my case off the background info and saw it says that bench warrants were issued in 2016 for court dates that I did not I know I had. Had a lawyer during first court date who after court said he was going out of town and haven't heard from him since. No longer have his contact due to it being 4 yrs since first court date. What do I do to not get arrested or spend time for a court date I didn't know about? Also had a recent accident where a lady hit me. Police ran my ID but no warrant or anything popped up so wasn't arrested. How is that?
A: Bench warrants are issued in circumstances were (1) you failed to appear for a court date (2) failed to pay a court fine on time (3) failed to obey a court order or violated probation. The main way to get a bench warrant lifted is to appear in court - either through your attorney or in person. Another way is to have it dismissed because it wasn't served properly. You mentioned you never got notice of the appearances. Why not? Did you address change? Depending on why you did not get notice of the court dates will be the main factor in determining if you were improperly served.
In your case, it will probably be most beneficial to get an attorney to appear for you who will convince the judge why you didn't appear and make arrangements to avoid your arrest. Having an attorney will show the judge you are serious about handling this matter and appearing at all future court dates. You will likely have to make some type of bail payment as security to appear in future court dates if the warrants aren't dismissed.
Lastly, why you didn't get arrested in your recent accident is a very good question because you should have been. It could have been an error on the officer's part, the way the warrant was entered into the criminal database system or just your lucky day. Either way, it is something you should attempt to get handled ASAP because warrants do not go away on their own.
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