What will happen if I turn myself in for a FTA on a Felony theft by receiving charge? 36 Answers as of October 18, 2012

First off, I have a clean record, no prior convictions. I am charged with theft by receiving because a guy said he sold me something. The only evidence they have is an ad on craigslist I posted around the same timeframe, no physical objects, no fingerprints, or anything like that. I bonded out for the charge two years ago and did not receive any paper work on the case. Earlier this year, I find out that I had a warrant during a traffic stop. I bond out on the FTA the next day. I continue to keep in contact with my bonding company and the district attorney for further information on my case but nothing comes up. Then on Thursday, I get a call from the bonding company saying that they received a certified letter stating that I was supposed to be in Court the previous Monday. I do not understand why I am not getting any of these notifications. Now I have another warrant. So where do I go from here. I am afraid if I turn myself in, I will be in there for a while.

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Law Office of John Schum, LLC
Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
These types of cases, where you are released while an investigation is ongoing are difficult. Decisions on the case are not communicated to you and then you miss a court date and there is a bench warrant for your arrest. Under the facts you provided, I feel that I can keep you from going to jail for the failure to appear and there is a good chance we could win the underlying case. I would need to know a lot more but the facts you gave me are promising. I hope this helps you sort your legal situation out.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 10/18/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
You will need an attorney as the charge is a felony charge. Your attorney should be able to file a pleading to have the failure to appear set aside and have the matter set for arraignment/status/trial and resolved.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/28/2012
Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
You have a better chance of being released if you surrendeer on the warrant rather than being arrested on it.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 9/14/2012
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
Get a lawyer and fight the charge with a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/13/2012
William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
With no record, you might be able to surrender and post bail. Seek a confidential consultation with a criminal defense attorney, or if you cannot afford to hire one, apply to the public defender for an appointed one.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 9/13/2012
    Law Office of Richard Staff | Richard Staff
    Call your bondsman and see what's up. She'll know if your bailable and how much. Prosecution must prove u had notice of court date.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Research the address that the court has for you and turn yourself in voluntarily to minimize the consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/13/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should not be in contact with the prosecutor and you should know when yu have to be in court. I advise you to call Legal Aid or a good criminal lawyer to handle the matter and get the best possible disposition in the matter. You should tell your lawyer the truth but never talk to the police under any circumstances, no matter what they threaten or promise.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/13/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    So, continue to run until they catch you. Either way, you will be returning to jail on the warrant. Maybe you might want to retain an attorney who can keep up with your court dates, or make sure your record stays clean, or maybe you don't care about that.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/13/2012
    Jay Tanenbaum | Jay Tanenbaum
    You should turn yourself in, preferably with an attorney. Usually with valid reasons for a non appearance, the bench warrant will be recalled.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    You're not as clear as you may believe. Consult with a lawyer about your options.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    The Law Offices of Stephen L. Richards | Stephen L. Richards
    Turn yourself in.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    The warrant and FTA are separate issues from the actual case charges. Each must be defended. To handle a warrant, you must turn yourself in to the issuing court, with or without an attorney. You?ll try to negotiate a recall of the warrant[s] and negotiate a plea bargain on any ?Failure to Appear? charge. You?ll try to negotiate bail reduction or OR release. You?ll try to negotiate a plea bargain on any probation violation that caused the warrant. You?ll try to negotiate a plea bargain or take to trial the outstanding charge that caused the warrant. On felony charges, the defendant must be personally present at every court hearing and appearance. On misdemeanors and infractions, your attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present. When charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or statement be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, program, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Plead NOT GUILTY and RETAIN an ATTORNEY to figure out this mess.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    If you have moved or somehow changed addresses since the original charge, they will continue to send information to the old address. Your bondsman should have gotten notice you were supposed to be in court. If you just let the warrant stay as it is, eventually someone will find you and the DA or law enforcement may think you were hiding or attempting to avoid arrest. Have your bondsman check on the address the court has for you. Only you can decide whether to surrender, but I always tell my clients that surrendering shows adult, responsible behavior, and that makes a difference with judges.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Set a quash hearing and find out what charges are pending against you and make sure the court has your correct address to send notices.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    Did you move and not tell the court?? If so, turn yourself in and tell them you moved and never got the notice. Otherwise you will have to worry forever about something which maybe you didn't do and would not be prosecuted for.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Get in touch with your attorney, and have him accompany you to court. He should file a motion to quash and recall the warrant, and should argue that you did not get notice about any court appointment. If you had been in touch with the DA, he should be able to co-oberate your story. Do not try and do this on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Get an attorney and go to court and get the matter straightened out. You may have a defense if you did not know the stuff was stolen.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    You can ask your attorney to make an initial appearance for you so he or she can straighten out the warrants and explain the situation. If you do not yet have an attorney, you should hire one.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can hire an attorney to help you sort this out, or you can enlist the help of your bondsman, in either event you will need to surrender on the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC
    VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC | Anthony Overton Van Johnson
    The first thing you need to do is retain the services of an attorney to represent you. The attorney is required to file an Entry of Appearance notifying the court that he/she is your legal counsel. When this occurs, all court notices are sent to both your address, as well as, the address of your attorney. Had you followed this approach, you would have avoided the circumstances that you currently find yourself in. Additionally, if you change your address, you are required to notify the court (in writing) of any changes to your address. Too frequently, individuals after having been arrested change addresses without notifying the court in writing of the new address. The court notice is then sent to whatever address the court has on file. When the Defendant fails to appear, a bench warrant is issued. You cannot and should not depend on your bonding company to notify you of your court date(s). Accordingly, you should immediately retain the services of an attorney. Your attorney can file a motion to recall the bench warrant or request a walk-in hearing to address the issue. At that time, the attorney can explain to the judge the circumstances of your case, and hopefully the judge will recall the warrant without you having to be taken into custody.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Law Office of Mark Bruce
    Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
    You need to hire a lawyer, who will be able to get the court dates, etc. Or, if you can't afford a lawyer, you need to go down to the courthouse where the case is being heard and ask the clerk to put it on calendar for warrant recall. Explain to the judge that you have not been receiving proper notice. Then ask for appointed counsel. The judge will not punish you for a clerical error, but only if you go into court on your own and not in a jail jumpsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You have to turn yourself in on the new warrant, bond out again, and make sure you know your future court dates. The bond will have a court date on it when you get out of jail- and then at each court date they will give you paperwork about when your next court date is. If you ever have a question, call the court and ask them when your next court date is. The phone number will be on your paperwork.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If you turn yourself in you will be taken before a judge to re-set conditions of release. If your story is believable, you are not likely to sit in jail for a long period.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    You obviously need to hire an attorney. When you do, notices will also be sent to the attorney. Perhaps the clerk has the wrong address for you. It happens.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    You need to find an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Bring a lawyer and bring a bondsman with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    The warrant will be recalled and you will be prosecuted. Hire a lawyer and turn yourself in.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If you have a failure to appear warrant you will spend less time in jail if you go to court ASAP. If you wait until the law enforcement picks you up you will spend time in jail and most likely more than you would by turning yourself in at court. If you were truly not notified of the court date you should not spend any time in jail and all your questions as to what is going on will be answered. It will help greatly if you take an attorney with you or talk to the Public Defender assigned to that court room.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
    What address are the officials sending mail to? You are supposed to keep everyone advised of your current address. Based on what you say your case is so minor the DA would drop it if they didn't get a plea from you for some lesser crime (no promises). Your bonding company can't give you "legal advice," but they can tell you something. A shortcut is to call the DA for informal advice, if they say anything.? The public defender can tell you something. The jails are full of people with serious matters which yours seems not to be. I doubt there is "room at the inn" for you!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/10/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Don't put it off. You will only make things worse and the bondsman will only come after you. Make sure you have nothing illegal on you when you go to court. It sounds like you may have a good defense so get going.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Call the right place. Call the Court. A FTA is a failure to appear and is not normally a warrant. Call the Court, today, to advise why you were not in court when required. Call today.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    If you did not know and turn yourself in you probably won't be incarcerated.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    You should contact and retain an experienced NH criminal defense attorney to assist you in surrendering yourself on the bench warrant.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/7/2012
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