In california i was charged with a felony, which is grand theft, and i missed multiple court dates and now there is a bench warrant out for my arrest. It is nearing a year since i was charged and i was wondering how i can go about this now that im living out of state. I am willing to accept a deal they had originally gave me which is a one-year probation term in return for a misdemeanor charge. I do not want a felony on my record and I want this all behind me. What are my possible routes to take?
3 Answers from Attorneys
That deal is off the table. Once you handle the warrant, you can then try to negotiate a new deal.
To handle a warrant, you must turn yourself in to the issuing court, with or without an attorney. On felony charges, the defendant must be personally present at every court hearing and appearance. You’ll try to negotiate a recall of the warrant[s] and seek bail reduction or OR release. You’ll try to negotiate a plea bargain on any ‘Failure to Appear’ charge or 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. Turning yourself in voluntarily will result in a better outcome than being brought in chains to court after arrest on the warrant. That can happen if you come in contact with law enforcement or customs anywhere in the country. Effective plea-bargaining by your attorney, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it, and may enable you to get your probation and programs reinstated. Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, feel free to contact me.
You need to talk to an attorney and arrange for you to turn yourself in. In many cases you can work something out in advance so you will know what the deal is. I may depend upon the reason why you did not appear in the first place.
Your best bet is to hire an attorney and have that attorney negotiate your surrender. You should have the attorney review your file and help you decide the best way to either fight the case or negotiate a deal. If you have any questions you may call me at 415-336-7534.
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