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Asked over 1 year ago - Santa Ana, CA

I have a bench warrant that's about 3 years old for a petty theft for less than 50 dollars and I want to get rid of it. is it better for me to walk in with a lawyer I just finished my schooling they are looking to hire me at my externship site but before that I want to get rid of my warrant so I have no problems

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Joseph Briscoe Dane

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Depending on why the warrant was issued and what stage your case was in when the warrant was issued, an attorney may be able to appear on your behalf and get the warrant recalled.

    It will matter whether you failed to appear, failed to do something after a conviction or if the warrant was simply issued because charges were filed, yet you had no notice of the charges.

    Depending on that factor, then the case may have to be fought, resolved, cleared up or potentially dismissed.

    The only way to know is to discuss it face to face with an attorney. You need a good criminal defense attorney. I'd strongly suggest you find someone who focuses on criminal law and who routinely practices in the court where this case will be heard.

    Please pardon any typos - posted via mobile device.

    The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact... more
  2. Robert Laurens Driessen

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes if you have a three year old bench warrant you will want an attorney to go to court for you. This is not something that you will want to do alone. Feel free to call my office I practice in Orange County.

    Robert Driessen

    Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated... more
  3. Gayle Anne-Marie Gutekunst

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is certainly a possibility that you can get the case dismissed due to a violation of your speedy trial right in California under the way the CA Const has construed it. If you go in without counsel they will extract a little plea from you.

    If you have filed state tax returns, had a CA drivers license with correct information, had a car registered with the DMV with accurate contact information, etc etc take those docs into your attorney. Law enforcement has an obligation to act and not just wait for people to fall into their nets. A warrant is an order to law enforcement to hunt you down and drag you into court. They had one year from the date the warrant was issued to find you and bring you in.

    If you moved out of state, you were unavailable for arrest on this, so that time is not computed into the 1 year.

    Once your attorney looks at the documentation and court file to determine if the bench warrant was even validly issued and you were notified of its existence, you and s/he can discuss strategies for handling the matter. Look at the various AVVO answers on the effect a criminal conviction, even a little petty theft, can have on your future employment, etc. You should take this quite seriously.

  4. Jasen Bodie Nielsen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is absolutely better for you to go to court with an attorney. In some courts, the attorney may be able to get the warrant recalled without you having to be there. In addition to possible speedy trial rights issues raised by the other attorney, it may also be difficult for the prosecution to produce the witnesses from a 3 year old case. Hire a local criminal defense attorney. Good luck.

    Jasen Nielsen

  5. Michael Kevin Cernyar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need an attorney now to protect your Rights. This appears to be an interesting matter because the prosecution may have violated your rights by not pursuing the matter. I strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney now.

    Many respectable attorneys will provide a free consultation. My suggestion is meet with at least one attorney and discuss the matter with them. My firm provides free consultations and it appears we are only a few minutes from your location.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice... more

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