What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA
12 years ago, when I was 19, I was in an abusive relationship with a jerk who wouldn't spend money to buy post-op medical supplies I needed, and dressing open woulds with toilet paper kept making me sick and ending up in the hospital with abscesses. I was ashamed of that, and made to feel worthless. He'd spend money on video games, but not necessities for me. I'm still ashamed to admit I had to eat dog food when he wouldn't buy people food for me, but he always ate out, so what did it matter to him? This is a freak who raped me a few days after major abdominal surgery, in my hospital room! The relationship finally ended when I tried killing myself.
Before the suicide attempt, to buy the medical supplies I needed, I stole some money, and I got a misdemeanor conviction. I missed a court date when my dad successfully killed himself in front of me by blowing his brains out after aiming the gun at me and telling me he was going to kill me first, was arrested on a bench warrant, and got a new date set for a few months in the future. Throughout all of this, I was disabled and receiving SSDI, so it's not like I had a lot of money, and I was even homeless for a while. My mom was too heavy into alcohol and wouldn't let me stay in the 3-bedroom house she was renting and living in alone unless I bought her booze. All kinds of crapy stuff.
I finally managed to get a job I could do, and it started the day of the court date. If I didn't start that day, I would lose the job. It was a miracle finding a better-than-minimum job with flexible hours that I could do from home. (I had to promise my mom alcohol to stay at her house at that point, and when I got my first check, I found a roommate). Before the court date, I wrote a letter to the court explaining I just got a job and had to start on that date, and I gave all the contact info for the boss, my phone number, and explained where I was living and that I was hoping to move soon, but would stay at the same job, and to please let me know how to arrange a new court date. The court was 60 miles from where I was staying and working and I didn't have a car. So I couldn't drive out.
I never heard from the court, no phone calls, nothing mailed, no cops showing up at my door. So I'm presuming, probably correctly, that the judge probably issued a new bench warrant and it was just never served.
Fast forward to today, I'm the single mom of an autistic toddler, and I live 800 miles away. I ended up back on SSDI and then got cut for overpayment (since I was drawing on my dad's record, apparently my child shouldn't have counted as a beneficiary for me, so they cut me down to $0 for a couple years). I couldn't afford to stay in California, but a friend had an old RV in Oregon I could stay in, and that's what I'm doing now. It's not the most comfortable, but it's shelter for my daughter, and some stability she needs.
I don't know what to do about the likely bench warrant, and I don't know how to even find out if there is one. The county does NOT make the information available to the public, and I can't get to the courthouse to check in person. My worry is if a cop ever checked my ID and there is a warrant and I got sent back, my daughter couldn't handle it.
Since someone will probably ask why I didn't get this taken care of sooner, in the last 12 years I've spent a lot of time homeless and very sick. At no point have I had anything even close to financial security, even when I had that job. I've had to move where I've had to move just to keep a roof over my head. I haven't had the ability to get to a courthouse at 8am. When I've had any energy or money at all, I've been trying to take care of an alcoholic mother whose drunk herself into a plethora of health issues until I finally had to cut her out a year ago when she tried blackmailing me for money I didn't have, threatening to have my daughter harmed.
I'm not a bad person, I've been through hell, and I committed the crime I did so I wouldn't die and had something more to eat than literally dried dog food, and still got to the point of trying to kill myself. So please, don't lecture me on how I should have died, and don't tell me go "pay the piper" and possibly go to jail so that my child, who can't be away from me for mere minutes without panicking and hurting herself (I can't even pee alone unless she's just fallen asleep). I just need to know how I can get this probably bench warrant for a misdemeanor from over a decade ago expunged so I can be here for her. Thank you for any help and non-judgement. I already hate myself and my life enough without people telling me I'm rotten and to forget about my daughter's needs.