It not an uncommon case that issued warrants come back to haunt subjects after a number of years. There are multiple recorded cases where decades old bench warrants surfaced in the non-opportune moment of benign engagement with the police. This is because bench warrants last a lifetime.
Issued, warrants do not have a maximum number of years after which they expire. If they did, it would be difficult to dissuade some people from avoiding the authorities for a designated period of time. Subjects who are laden with a long-overdue warrant are often unaware of the situation. It is only after a problem occurs that they find out about it.
The number one reason for outstanding warrants is if a subject moves house during a justice process. The recently increased Live Scan database can now reveal history going back 30 years, which surfaced many such cases. Should it happen to you, it is paramount that you contact your defense attorney.
There is no pleasant way of finding out that you’ve got a warrant on your shoulders. At least we can list the most common scenarios under which a subject finds out about an active warrant.
|Among the most common situations is with citizens who are returning to the States from abroad. If such a warrant exists, they can be detained at the customs until the warrant is lifted. A better case scenario is if an immigration attorney is in on it beforehand.|
|Many employers run background checks on both potential and existing employees. More often than not, insurance companies are involved in the checks. This is when all the laundry comes to the top, not the least of which an outstanding warrant.|
|It is often the case that DMV holds a license if a client has an active warrant. Bear in mind that the hold will be lifted only when the warrant is.|
|Less often but still occurring is when people get stopped for, say, speed drive.|
There is a great variety to warrants. Not only are there multiple types (bench, search, arrest, execution, complaint etc.), but also each type corresponds to a particular stage of a case. Some of them like the arrest warrant may turn moot under certain conditions, but the most common bench warrant cannot.
Having said that, the most important thing when dealing with overdue warrants is to find out the type. Again, bench warrants are the most common here and a good enough guess, but it is essential to be precise as to the type of warrant involved. Felony aside, most other warranty types can be lifted without you being present in the court.
Bottom line is that a warrant lasts until it is lifted. To avoid any unnecessary trouble, finding out about active warrants is not a bad idea. If indeed it is there, reaching out to your defense attorney may be even better.