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Under PA criminal code if a bench warrant is issued for a case that is inactive, what does that mean

State College, PA |

if a bench warrant has been issued but the case says inactive what does that mean

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I would have to say that such a vague term as "Inactive" may mean different things in different counties/jurisdictions. I would suggest that you consider factors such as (tolling of) statutes of limitations; title to and possession of the repossessed vehicle; whether the Drug Paraphernalia was the only item(s) found or whether drugs were also confiscated at some point; the prior record of those who have some nexus to the car, etc. The case could likely be "nolle prossed" or it could be re-opened if there is sufficient probable cause to justify a Criminal Complaint being filed at this late juncture.


  2. The case is listed as "inactive" because of the bench warrant. The bench warrant was issued because the defendant failed to appear at a scheduled court appearance and is considered a fugitive. Until such time as the defendant either turns themself in to the authorities or is apprehended on the bench warrant (typically at their home or as part of routine traffic stop), the warrant will remain outstanding and the case will continue to be listed as inactive. Once the bench warrant is served and the defendant is taken into custody, the case will be removed from inactive status and will be placed back on active status and will proceed from the point the defendant failed to appear.

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