Out-of-state warrants are more common than you might think and come about for a variety of reasons, some intentionally and others unintentionally. Maybe you had a little too much fun on your Florida vacation and came back with more than a drunken tattoo: a Florida arrest warrant. It can happen to anyone, and probably happens more than one might think. Unfortunately, you can’t turn back time and change your actions, so your first step should be to take care of the warrant promptly and ensure that you experience as few negative repercussions as possible.
What Does It Mean to Have an Out-of-State Warrant?
Having a warrant simply means that there is a warrant out for your arrest, usually because you failed to appear in court for a charge or violation. The underlying reason for your warrant may be minor, such as a traffic ticket, or something major, like murder. The meaning of an out-of-state warrant is simple: there is a warrant out for your arrest for a crime or offense you committed in any state other than the one in which you currently reside.
Acquiring an Out-of-State Warrant
When most people think of arrest warrants, they assume that the person with the warrant out for his or her arrest has committed a heinous crime and is on the run from the authorities. However, there are many ways to acquire an out-of-state warrant, and most come about from very minor violations or infractions, like when an individual forgets about a court date for a traffic infraction. Obviously, there are some cases that involve more serious offenses, such as armed robbery or burglary, but this scenario is much rarer. Despite the fact that warrants are widely issued for minor offenses, you shouldn’t make light of your out-of-state warrant; it is still a very serious matter. It’s important to note that leaving the state does not mean that you won’t be held responsible or can ignore dealing with it. You should attempt to rectify the situation as soon as possible once you discover that there is a warrant out for your arrest.
How Will I Be Found?
As discussed above, simply leaving the state does not exonerate you of the crime or violation that you committed. You are still responsible for dealing with any charges that you may face, including speeding tickets and other seemingly minor offenses. Warrants are accessible by police forces nationwide, which means any officer who pulls you over in any state will see the warrant out for your arrest and can immediately arrest you. Police may pull you over for something as simple as speeding or failing to signal a turn, and wind up arresting you. While it is true that some time may pass before you’re pulled over, evasion is not a reliable method of handling your out-of-state warrant.
Can Police in My State Arrest Me?
Nationwide, states suffer from limited budgets. They generally are not interested in, nor do they have the resources for, holding and trying a resident for a crime committed in a different state.
Instead, states have the option to hold wanted individuals until extradition occurs by the appropriate state. The lesser the offense, such as a traffic ticket, the less likely that any action will be taken. However, a serious offense, such as assault or murder, will most likely result in extradition, which is the process of one state turning over an individual to the state in which the warrant is held, so that state can take appropriate action on the accused individual.
It is up to each state whether they want to hold the wanted individual until the state who issued the warrant can extradite; states are not required to do the policing of other states.
Navigating the Legal System With the Help of the Khonsari Law Group
If you aren’t an individual with legal experience, the legal system can be difficult to navigate. An out-of-state warrant is a very serious matter, even if it stems from something minor, like a traffic ticket. If you have an outstanding warrant, you likely want to take care of it as soon as possible and in the proper manner without enduring any further unnecessary consequences to you or your wallet. Hiring the services of an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure the warrant, fines, and penalties are handled the right way the first time. Call the Khonsari Law Group today at (727) 269-5300, or contact us online, to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.