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If currently incarcerated in VA and you miss a court date in MD, can a warrant for 'failure to appear' be rescinded?

Annapolis, MD |

How would one go about finding how to resolve this (i.e., convert the warrant for 'failure to appear' to a continuation of the court date.

Attorney Answers 3


You can file a motion to quash the warrant, providing the details of where you are presently incarcerated, but it may not help you or be granted. A warrant automatically acts as a detainer, meaning when you come up for release, rather than being released, the Virginia authorities will hold you on the Maryland warrant and Maryland will send someone down to pick you up and bring you to Maryland. That's why FTA warrants are issued. They do not trust you will voluntarily come up and turn yourself in on the charges. Therefore, it is unlikely that such a motion will be granted. But it is possible in certain circumstances. You would have a much better chance if a lawyer files that motion for you, providing viable reasons to support the relief.

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If you are serving an active sentence of incarceration more than 180 days, you can now apply for relief under the interstate act on detainers.

It's been a while since I have filed one, but it is very detail specific. Speak with a classification officer at the facility where you are incarcerated, and request a form that can be used to make the request through the warden where you are incarcerated. The request must be directed to the warden and the warden must forward the request to the states attorney for the county in which the new charges are being prosecuted.

If memory serves, they will have 180 days to transport you to Maryland to prosecute you on the pending case, or the case must be dismissed.

It might benefit you to have counsel in Maryland engaged to follow through your request under the act to have your case disposed of within 180 days. Most times the paperwork is lost in transition, and the inmate does not benefit from the act.

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If you obtain an attorney to file a motion to strike the warrant, you will significantly increase your chances of having the warrant recalled. The court is aware that it is much more likely that you will appear at the next trial date if you have gone to the expense of retaining an attorney. Typically, before filing the motion I would call the State's Attorney's Office in an effort to obtain the State's consent, if there is a legitimate reason why you missed the first court date.

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