How to Resolve Old Arrest Warrants

By Roger Thorne J.D.
Old arrest warrants can follow you until they are resolved.

handcuffs image by William Berry from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Arrest warrants are issued by judges or magistrates. Whenever a judge or magistrate issues an arrest warrant, it names the person to be arrested and the reasons. Because arrest warrants do not expire, you can still be arrested even if the warrant was old and issued years ago. You'll likely have to appear before the court that issued the old warrant before you can resolve the matter.

Contact your lawyer. Your arrest warrant will not expire or go away, and can follow you for a very long time until the matter is resolved. Contact a qualified attorney in your area and ask what options you have to take care of the warrant.

Turn yourself in. Your arrest warrant orders law enforcement agents to arrest you at the earliest possible time. To satisfy the warrant, you can always turn yourself in to the police. Once this happens they will take you before the court that issued the warrant so you can answer for the charges against you.

Attend the hearing. Whether your attorney schedules a hearing or you are brought before the judge after being arrested or turning yourself in, you must attend the hearing. Failure to do so results in the judge issuing a bench warrant, which also does not expire.

Resolve the crime with which you are charged. The arrest warrant is only in place because you have been charged with a crime. You must resolve the underlying charges, meaning the charges must either be dropped or a judgment must be entered by the court. Until you do this, you must attend all court hearings and serve any sentence imposed by the court.

About the Author

Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article