I had a misdemeanor theft charge dating back from 2010 and was given probation -- ordered to pay restitution and complete community service within 2 years. I completeed both in less than 5 months. Two years later, I get a summons to court to "Show Cause". The probation officer said she never got my check or letter for community service. Because I live out of state, I simply could not make the court date but I faxed over a copy of the certified check and my community service letter to the probation officer. She took the proof to the judge on the date of my hearing but I guess they said b/c the check was made out to the PLAINTIFF instead of the Dept. of Probation, the restitution I sent was invalid. He therefore issued a bench warrant for my arrest!!!I'm not sure why the judge could not see that this was a huge error and I even told the probation officer that if I needed to FedEx another check, I would. A few days after the hearing, she just advised me to hire a lawyer and hung up. So on top of having a WARRANT out for my arrest, I now have to pay money that I don't have for an attorney... and I'm not even sure WHY?! I know that I failed to appear... but I completed my probation successfully and sent the judge proof. I didn't even need to be back in court to "Show Cause" in the first place. My main concern at the moment is being arrested and/or extradicted if I am pulled over by a cop in my current state. How does this work? Should I avoid driving until I can get this taken care of? Will the bench warrant even show up? Any legitimate advice will be greatly appreciated. I
You will need to hire an attorney in Maryland to clear up the situation. Florida does not extradite for misdemeanors, however, I am not certain about Maryland policy. Find your check that proves you paid restitution and send it to your attorney in Maryland. Otherwise, you could spend some long nights in jail waiting to be extridited to Maryland or merely held waiting for Maryland to release you.
If you get pulled over by law enforcement or travel out of the country and go through customs, it is most likely that the bench warrant will appear on your record. It is very important that you immediately hire a lawyer in Maryland to set aside the bench warrant. This is an easy process and you may not have to appear to get it set aside.
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