This is one of the biggest questions for people who have warrants. I've seen people live with warrants for many years. It doesn't make sense on one hand, because you can go in with an attorney, get the warrant recalled and quashed just by showing up and then it's just a matter of what resolution is going to be worked out for the case, and that depends on why you have the warrant — whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor, whether it's before you've been convicted on it or after you've been convicted on it, and a lot of times people are doing much better than they were when they got the warrant and were able to show that sometimes fines just need to be paid. There are all sorts of different things.
Walking Into Court With a Lawyer
So, as far as getting rid of a warrant and avoiding jail which you don't blame people for wanting to do, I think most people have a pretty darn good chance if you're walking in there — because that's the first step.
The judge sees that you came in on your own and they didn't have to catch you. If they catch you, you're in a much harder position because the judge is going to say you would never have come in if it hadn't been for them catching you so I'm going to punish you for that versus you walk in with an attorney ready to take care of whatever needs to be done and hopefully, we can show that you're doing well now.
That's really what the courts want. They just want law abiding citizens out there taking care of business, not committing crimes. If we can show that's what you're doing, they are a lot more apt to cut you some slack and give you a break.
On the other hand, I've had people come in and say, I got a 90-day sentence that I was supposed to surrender for. I want to go in there, but I don't want to do the 90-days, and obviously, that's not going to work out.
Most times, even though I've somehow gotten clients out of that under the right circumstances, but most times you're at least going to have to do your original sentence and you're facing more time because you didn't do what you were supposed to when you were supposed to do it.
But fortunately, especially in Los Angeles County, for many years now, the county jail has just been overcrowded — people are serving a very small percentage of their time, so you're much better off just getting it over with, dealing with it so you can move on with your life. Nobody likes to be looking over their shoulder worrying about whether the police are going to come and grab you, shake up your life, embarrass you then put you in jail for a period of time.
Warrants Never Expire
There are all sorts of different warrants. There are some warrants where there's a bail attached to them and even if the police catch you, you can just post the bail and get right out; while there are other warrants which are no bail, and that's where the judge wants to get their hands on you and if they put that no bail warrant in there, once the police catch you, you're not getting out until you see the judge and then the judge is going to deal with you.
So, I think step number one is realizing that you have a warrant and it's not going to disappear. They stay in there forever. I've had clients who have had warrants for 20 – 30 years and get pulled over for a simple traffic violation and the next thing you know they're in custody and dealing with the warrant. So, that's step number one. Realize it's not going to go away and it has to be dealt with.
Planning a Strategy for Best Outcome
Step number two is, you come in and sit down with somebody like me, give me all the details the best you can remember of what happened at the time the warrant was issued. Give me all the details of where your life is at right now — do you have a job, a family, have you committed any crimes since the warrant went into effect?
That's a big thing. If you can show a period of time where you didn't get in trouble, that's something that we can definitely use to help you. We don't even have that luxury I a lot of new cases that are filed because prosecutors are arguing to judges, this person's not going to stop. We have to put them in custody because they won't stop committing crimes.
If you have a year or two under your belt where you haven't committed any crimes, we'll turn that into a positive and say look, this person's on the right path. They've got their act together. Let's not throw them in jail and make them lose their job and all the things they've been working for. So, that's step number two which is getting in and finding out what you're up against, and that's what I'm good at.
So, make the call. Come in, we'll sit down and work out a strategy to get you the result that you need.
For more information on Getting Rid Of A Warrant Without Going To Jail, a free initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.