Does a bench warrant show up out of state when pulled over?

Asked over 4 years ago - San Diego, CA

bench warrant was issued and now this person has to drive to the state it was issued in to get it cleared up. Could he get arrested while driving in another state?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Aaron Todd Hicks

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Mr. Forslund is correct, it depends. The most important determining factor is for what reason and what type of crime that the bench warrant was issued. If it is a felony offense, the chances are greatly increased that they will be taken in.

    Another thing to be concerned about is bench warrants in CA will usually prompt the DMV to either place a hold or suspend a license until the Failure to Appear is cleared. That person needs to be careful that they are also not driving on a suspended license, which will only worsen the situation for them.

    Your friend may just want to hire an attorney in that state, who might be able to appear for them without the client even being there.

  2. Robert Laurens Driessen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Hicks that it may be in your friend’s best interest to hire an attorney to resolve the bench warrant issues. An attorney will be able to appear for your friend to take care of the out of state bench warrant. The advantage is that your friend will not risk driving with an active warrant for his arrest and the chances of being placed in custody for the bench warrant are dramatically decreased.
    It is very difficult to say whether another state will do anything with an out of state bench warrants. As much as I hate to say it, police agencies typically do not care about out of state warrants, especially if they are for misdemeanors. I have seen it several times where officers do not want to even bother with in state misdemeanor warrants. However, that being said, the police does have the authority and ability to place you in custody for an outstanding warrant, so it is always in ones best interest to get them resolved.
    Robert Driessen

  3. George Fredrick Mueller

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Yes, counsel are correct. If it is San Diego DUI misdemeanor warrant:

    (a) if the person is out of state and failed to complete something, if the person writes a letter to the court from outside the state, writing the case number, the request to recall the warrant/re-refer etc., and encloses a self-addressed stamped envelope to that state outside California, often times the Court will recall the warrant (unless it happened before or is more complicated);

    (b) California will not extradite the out-of-state misdemeanant but will generally put an indefinite Hold/FTA/FTP on that person's license whereever he/she may be in the U.S.

    Hope this helps. is a good way to get local assistance.

  4. James C Forslund

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . It is possible. The state with the warrant may or may not extradite him.

  5. Wayne Rodgers Foote


    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Usually bench warrants are entered into an interstate computer network. When that happens they show up out of state. If the person is stopped in another state they can be arrested and held until the warrant state decides whether to extradite back to the warrant state.

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