What do I do if I just found out I have a warrant from 13 years ago? 1 Answers as of September 27, 2011

Two days ago I received a phone call from Jackson Twp Police Dpt letting me know that I have a warrant for a bad check from 13 years ago. This is the first I had even heard about a warrant, court or bad check ever! I'm shocked about this and they were no help when I tried to ask them what I should do. My plan as of now if going to the courthouse Monday morning and getting this taken care of! I'm a mother, business owner and very law abiding citizen. I've never even had a traffic ticket! Will I be arrested if I go to the courthouse? I'm not sure what to do or if I can hire a lawyer to go into the court for me? How much would it cost to hire a lawyer to help me with this?

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Burdon and Merlitti
Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
First, my recommendation is that you do talk to an attorney as soon as possible. If the Jackson Police are giving you a call, then it means that you are at least on their radar screens. They were probably looking at old warrants and trying to clear them up. Right now you risk either Jackson Township or another police department arresting you, either at your house or during a traffic stop. You also could be arrested when you go into the courthouse to take care of the warrant. The concern I would have would be that if you just walked into court, they might take you into custody until you can see a judge the next morning, which means that you would spend at least one night in jail. An attorney could call either the police department or court and arrange for you to turn yourself in, which would reduce the likelihood of you spending time in jail before seeing a judge. As far as the facts of your case and how much it would cost to defend, it would depend on a number of factors including if the case is charged as a felony of misdemeanor, if the case is going to trial, and so forth. However, if this is your first time in any sort of trouble, there is a good chance that you could get some kind of diversionary program where you repay the bad check and perhaps do some sort of other restitution, such as community service or where the charges get dismissed based on your repaying the check. But I would strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/27/2011
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