How Long Does An Arrest Warrant Last?
You can’t outrun an arrest warrant
Did you think that you had gotten away with that warrant for your arrest because it was issued a long time ago? Perhaps it was even in a different state. If you haven’t been arrested already then perhaps the warrant has been forgotten about – Wrong. How long does an arrest warrant last for? – A lot longer than you might imagine.
Arrest warrants are for life
Warrants do not expire and they do not have a time limit. An arrest warrant will remain active until you get arrested or you give yourself up. It’s as simple as that and if you haven’t been arrested yet then it’s just luck. Give it time and it will most likely catch up with you.
If you have a warrant for a serious felony crime then you can expect to be caught quickly unless you are actively avoiding capture. It’s more likely though, that you have a warrant for a misdemeanor offence like failing to attend court or not paying a fine. If this is the case then it’s unlikely that the police will be actively pursuing you.
Warrants don’t go away by themselves
Just because you have a warrant for a minor offence from years ago and you haven’t been arrested yet, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be. Remember a warrant will last forever unless you do something about it. It will not go away by itself.
One day you will get stopped for some routine traffic offence and the police will take the opportunity to check to see if you have any arrest warrants. You are already in front of them so if they can add you to their arrest statistics for the day then they will. They can do a routine warrant check in no time at all with their onboard computers and if they find your warrant, even if it’s from years ago, they will arrest you and take you to jail.
Most police officers are assessed in some part, by how many arrests they carry out so they have a real incentive to find something to arrest you on. You would be an easy target.
Dealing with an arrest warrant
I’m guessing that if you are reading this article then it’s because you either know that you have a warrant for arrest or you think you have one. You are also concerned that you should be doing something about it before your luck runs out and you finally get arrested.
Once you have been arrested you will be thrown into jail to be released only after bail has been set. That’s when it starts to get expensive so if you can, it’s best to avoid the getting arrested part.
You need to get yourself a lawyer to guide you through the right way of handing yourself in and dealing with whatever it was that got you the warrant in the first place.
Find out what the warrant is about
Before you hand yourself in you need to find out what the warrant is for and even whether one exists at all for that matter. You can get details of the warrant from the courthouse where it was issued. Just give them a call and ask. If you can’t remember where it was issued then you can use an online public records database. Arrest warrants are public records so there is a good chance that you will find your’s online.
Forever is how long an arrest warrant lasts.