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In N.C. is there a statute of limitations on DWI with failure to appear warrant that is 16yrs. old?

Yadkinville, NC |

I went through a license ck. in another county.Was let out on my own recognence I went to 1st court appearance,was laid over. 2nd court date,my ride did not show .I called a lawyer that I knew in W.S.to go over and explain,but judge had already issued warrant.The warrant was never served to me,so I went to Yadkin co. sherriff dept., to get it took care of.They told me they could not find said warrant and it had been sent back to Forsythe co.I asked them to get it sent back here so I could get it took care of.A few days later,I go back to see if it was sent back and they tell me it had been lost-cannot be found- this was in 1994.I called the forsythe co.clerk and they could not come up with it either.Later,in 1999,inYadkin court,the DA drug it up-still didnt get served-they just let me go..

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Generally, warrants do not expire. The warrant likely still exists.

    The best way to find out is to have a third party (probably a friend, not a family member) call the police departments and check on this issue for you. Whoever calls should not divulge their relationship with you.

    Good luck!


  2. There is no Statute of Limitations issue here.

    In NC, generally, a warrant is recalled after 120 days and returned to the issuing Clerk of Court (otherwise officers would have to ride around with filing cabinets full of warrants). This doesn't make the case go away, it just means no one is actively looking for you.

    You need to appear in Forsyth County (ideally with a local attorney) and try to get it resolved. They are not likely to have the evidence necessary to prosecute you (no officer, or no officer that remembers a 15 year old DWI), so an attorney may be able to get it dismissed.

    If you don't resolve it, it will continue to hang over your head, prevent you from getting a license, and as the NC Courts continue to improve the technology associated with their databases you run the risk of being arrested on that old case any time you run into an officer.

    Good luck.

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