What can happen if a warrant for my arrest was issued for an FTA?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What can happen if a warrant for my arrest was issued for an FTA?

I was caught shoplifting out of state. I wasn’t arrested but I was issued a citation with a court date written on it. I believe it’s a theft 2 charge because I stole just over $100 in merchandise. Now I just realized that I missed my court date. When I called the courthouse I was advised that a warrant has been issued for my arrest and the only thing I can do is come in person to the courthouse and get myself back on the calendar but that’s not really an option for me because I live about 800 miles away and don’t drive. If I get pulled over or in some kind of trouble, will they act on that warrant and arrest me?

Asked on October 6, 2015 under Criminal Law, Oregon


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

In theory you could be extradited back to the state in which the warrant was issued. However, as a practical matter, that might not happen since the issuing state may not want to go to the time and trouble for a shoplifting charge. That having been said, you can still be taken into custody until the issuing state is contacted and makes the determination as to whether or not to extradite, and this could happen even if you are stopped for just speeding, etc. Additionally, the warrant will show up if a background check is run on you for employment purposes, etc.
The fact is that warrants do not expire, so your really need to take care of this. See what you can work out regarding traveling back. You should also contact a criminal law attorney in the area where all of this occurred they can best advise you of your rights/remedies.

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