Is there a statute of limitations on a bench warrant?

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011

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Is there a statute of limitations on a bench warrant?

A family member of mine was arrested on theft less than $300 in relation to a series of bad checks that were written on a bank account cleaned out by an ex-fiance. The judge “spooked” him by saying he would give my family member the maximum, so he did not appear for trial. A warrant was issued for FTA; this was 22 years ago. This family member has not been in any trouble at all since this date. Not even a traffic ticket. I happened to come across MD’s record site andthe case is listed as a warrant. How can my family member take care of this? Should they speak with a criminal law attorney? In Caroline County, MD.

Asked on August 29, 2011 Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no statute of limitations on a warrant; warrants do not expire. As you can see your family member still has one out for them. The fact of the matter is tat this could turn up at any time. Just because so many years have passed does not mean that it still can't cause your relative trouble.

This best hing to do is to hire a lawyer local to the court that issued the warrant. That is where the whole matter will need to be cleaned up. An criminal law attorney that practices in the area can use their contacts to your family member's best advantage. Appearing of their own accord will work in their favor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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