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Can you fly (domestic) if there is a bench warrant issued against you for failure to appear on a traffic misdemeanor?

Poughkeepsie, NY |

The issuing court is a small (and has indicated that only the judge can vacate the warrant) one with no upcoming dates before this scheduled flight, but we have concerns after just being notified this week that a warrant was issued for failure to apprear in court for a traffic misdemeanor case.
We are returning 1 week later but are very concerned now about the possibility of being stopped at the airport by TSA. Could you be arrested at the airport because of this warrant?

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Attorney answers 2


I don't think so. Why don't you retain counsel and go in to to court and get the warrant vacated before you go on the trip?

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

Eric Edward Rothstein

Eric Edward Rothstein


Why I say I don't think so, I mean I don't think you will have a problem.



Eric, we appreciate your response. When speaking with the court clerk today she indicated that no judge will be available before our flight leaves; actually the day he is in is the day after our flight out. Again this is a small villiage court and the judge apparently is only in once per week.


If a warrant has already issued, your friend could be picked up and detained at any time. In theory, the police can go to his house tomorrow and arrest him. Did you try explaining your friend's situation to the clerk and ask for their suggestion?

This response is for general information purposes only and does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Past results do not guarantee future results.

Richard C. Southard

Richard C. Southard


To clarify, I think there's a greater chance he gets picked up in his house than detained at the airport.

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