What will happen with an out of state bench warrant? 2 Answers as of April 14, 2011

A friend of mine recently found out that he has a bench warrant from out of state for FTA on a alleged theft violation. He was arrested and released the same day and was given a court date, this was back in 2002. He is trying to figure out how to get this warrant released without having to appear in person. Is there any way that this is possible? Can he hire a lawyer to appear for him and pay the fine without appearing himself?

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Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
The only way to clear a warrant is by personally appearing before a judge. The charge of theft is a crime; not an in fraction. Consequently, there is a potential for jail time and just paying a fine won't cut it. Your friend's best approach would be to hire an attorney and make arrangements to stay in town until the matter can be resolved. The other surprise awaiting your friend is a new charge of bail jumping. That also has the potential for jail. The longer your friend waits, the more likely that he or she will be booked by the judge and held until trial. The only advantage of staying out of state is that the theft witnesses may have moved away, died or just don't care anymore. That's little comfort though knowing the bail jumping charge can be proved and that would mean the possibility of substantial jail time. Your friend's best course of action would be to return to the state where the charges are and face the music.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/14/2011
Mercado & Hartung
Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
Your friend will need to contact an attorney in the jurisdiction where the warrant is held. Different jurisdictions have different procedures for quashing warrants, so it is necessary to find a person local to that jurisdiction.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/13/2011
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