I was arrested over 10 years agofor criminal mischief, is my bench warrant still active?

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I was arrested over 10 years agofor criminal mischief, is my bench warrant still active?

Asked on December 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

Arkady Bukh / Bukh Law Firm, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If a bench warrant was issued as you say, then this case is active and you have a violation against you for not appearing at court.  This warrant will not go away over time, it will only go away by approaching the court that issued it and trying to straighten it out.  You should discuss your situation with a criminal defense attorney and you may find out that it is simple to resolve.  Until that time, however you do have an open warrant on your record and someone may decide to pull you in for it at some point.  

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Criminal mischief is not an offense in my state however i suspect it is akin to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct.  If you are arrested for an offense in any state and then you never go to court or fail to go back to resolve your case, chances are that a bench warrant was issued for your arrest.  The bad news is that this means you have an open case that could result in your arrest and your being jailed - not to mention having this show up on a background check in many situations.

The good news is that because the charge is a misdemeanor, the reason that you haven't been arrested already is that most likely the court/police are not trying to hunt you down for such a petty crime.  Even if you were stopped by police, it is unlikely they would arrest and hold you on this warrant as they usually don't hold people for misdemeanor bench warrants except in the state where the warrant was issued.  This is because it costs too much for them to send a deputy out to pick you up from that jail and drive you all the way back, not to mention paying the local jail to hold you until they come get you.  The court figures that eventually you will want to resolve this case one your own because you don't want this dark spot on your record hanging over you forever.

Most people want these bench warrants fixed and they usually can be fairly easily with the help of a criminal defense lawyer like myself who is used to getting these bench warrants lifted and these old cases closed for our clients.  You should seek help to finally get this put behind you.

David West

Attorney at Law


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