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  1. #1
    stuckintexas is offline Junior Member
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    Need to take care of out-of-state warrant

    What is the name of your state? Texas, but case in CA

    I was informed today that police had been to my parents' house in CA with a warrant for my arrest. I'm sure that the warrant is in relation to a few years ago, when I was arrested for shoplifting. I was young and irresposible, and did not finish paying my fines, nor did I go to the follow-up court date. I realize that it was completely stupid of me, and I want to get it fixed.

    How do I know whether the warrant is for nonpayment of fines or for a missed court date? Could it be for both things, or would that require two seperate warrants? I know the first thing I need to do is call the county I was arrested in, and I plan to do it on Monday. Will they give me that information?

    Also, I know I will most likely need a lawyer to facilitate turning myself in without going to jail (the "walk-through.") I absolutely cannot afford one, so I'm going to try and get a public defender. Can I get a public defender in Texas (where I'm currently living) or do I have to get one that works in the county I was arrested in? If so, can one in TX at least advise me even though I'd need one from CA to represent me in court? If I can't do anything through a lawyer here, is it likely that I can get everything set up with a CA lawyer over the phone? I know I'll most likely have to fly back to CA to get this all dealt with, and I can't afford more than one trip.

    Thank you for your help.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckintexas
    What is the name of your state? Texas, but case in CA

    I was informed today that police had been to my parents' house in CA with a warrant for my arrest. I'm sure that the warrant is in relation to a few years ago, when I was arrested for shoplifting. I was young and irresposible, and did not finish paying my fines, nor did I go to the follow-up court date. I realize that it was completely stupid of me, and I want to get it fixed.

    How do I know whether the warrant is for nonpayment of fines or for a missed court date? Could it be for both things, or would that require two seperate warrants? I know the first thing I need to do is call the county I was arrested in, and I plan to do it on Monday. Will they give me that information?

    Also, I know I will most likely need a lawyer to facilitate turning myself in without going to jail (the "walk-through.") I absolutely cannot afford one, so I'm going to try and get a public defender. Can I get a public defender in Texas (where I'm currently living) or do I have to get one that works in the county I was arrested in? If so, can one in TX at least advise me even though I'd need one from CA to represent me in court? If I can't do anything through a lawyer here, is it likely that I can get everything set up with a CA lawyer over the phone? I know I'll most likely have to fly back to CA to get this all dealt with, and I can't afford more than one trip.

    Thank you for your help.
    Surrender in California and ask for a public defender.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    stuckintexas is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    Surrender in California and ask for a public defender.
    I can't retain one/negotiate a surrender before I fly out there? If at all possible, I want to avoid the financial risk of flying to CA without knowing when I'll be able to return to my home and job in TX.
  4. #4
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckintexas
    I can't retain one/negotiate a surrender before I fly out there? If at all possible, I want to avoid the financial risk of flying to CA without knowing when I'll be able to return to my home and job in TX.
    You can hire a lawyer any time you want; that lawyer could do negotiation for you before you go there.

    If you want a public defender, then you have to wait till you get there and see if you are eligible.

    Since you have a job and can afford the airfare there, I'd say you are not eligible for a public defender.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  5. #5
    stuckintexas is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge
    You can hire a lawyer any time you want; that lawyer could do negotiation for you before you go there.

    If you want a public defender, then you have to wait till you get there and see if you are eligible.

    Since you have a job and can afford the airfare there, I'd say you are not eligible for a public defender.
    I ought to hire a lawyer based in the county that the warrant is from then, yes? How should I go about doing this - just look online for lawyers in the area, then call and ask for quotes on price? Thank you so much for your help.
  6. #6
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckintexas
    I ought to hire a lawyer based in the county that the warrant is from then, yes? How should I go about doing this - just look online for lawyers in the area, then call and ask for quotes on price? Thank you so much for your help.
    No, hire one from New York City.

    Of course you need local counsel!

    Start shopping....
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  7. #7
    calatty is offline Senior Member
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    Call the public defender's office in the CA county first and see what they advise. Otherwise contact the county bar association and get a referral to a criminal attorney. This is not going to be a fly in/fly out matter. Expect a few visits to California.
  8. #8
    acmb05 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by calatty
    Call the public defender's office in the CA county first and see what they advise. Otherwise contact the county bar association and get a referral to a criminal attorney. This is not going to be a fly in/fly out matter. Expect a few visits to California.
    Try calling the County clerks office and ask them what the warrant is for and if it can be taken care of from out of state. I suspect it is for failure to pay fines and/or failure to appear. Some judges will allow you to pay a fine instead of coming to court for failure to appear. They could also just have you pay what is owed on the original fine with late fees and then dismiss the warrants.

    I say this COULD be the case it all depends on the judge. But it cant hurt to make the phone call.

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