Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

How do I clear a warrant without going to jail

I was charged some time ago with 484p.c. i hired an attorney and had the charges dropped to 594p.c and was supposed to serve a 100 hrs community service 300+ in restitution and 100 to the court. Well I paid the restitution, but a string of events did not allow me to do the community service or pay the 100 to the court. Top it all off my attorney said he didn't care what happened (after he cashed the 1500 retainer check) and left me hanging. Long story short I come to find out I have a $20,000 bench warrant for my arrest and have been charged with theft and vandalism. When I turned my self in orginally for booking, i was charged with 494( petty theft) My lawyer said he plea bargined to 594 Vandalism, how is it now both and how do I clear this matter with little or no jail time? Money is not an issue, is it possible to pay some outrageous fine and be done with it?? Someone please help


Asked on 9/07/03, 1:37 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Miller Robert L. Miller & Associates, A Law Corporation

Re: How do I clear a warrant without going to jail

Thank you for your posting, and I am sorry to hear about the unfortunate situation that you're in, that has snowballed into a much larger unfortunate situation.

As you know, you are going to have to clear this warrant. You should do this as soon as possible, as each day that goes by not only exposes you to possible arrest, but also makes you look more irresponsible to the court. You can recall the warrant by going into court yourself, or with an attorney present, or with some courts and some judges, appear through an attorney without you being present.

From there, you should show any documents to your attorney (and in turn through him or her the court) that shows that your original theft charge was dismissed. One possibility is that the reduced sentence or charges was only to be done upon successful completion of your probation. Another, alternative possibility is that this is just an administrative or clerical error on the court's part. I'm not sure it will make a difference as to your punishment, but you should clear this up.

Finally, to answer your question, yes, it is possible to negotiate for the goal of avoiding jail time. You will want to pay the $100 state restitution fund contribution (and I believe this is what you were to pay $100 to the court for, not a fine) as soon as the court allows you, this week if possible, and then deal with what is basically a probation violation.

I can't say this enough -- the key is to show responsibility. The judge you appear in front of (or that your lawyer appears in front of) is going to want to know that this will not happen again, and that you will not be chronically missing deadlines and dealing with the court for forgotten deadlines or broken promises. Hiring an attorney to deal with this professionally shows responsibility. So do letters from your employer, school, public service, etc., and that will cause your sentence to be lowered.

When I deal with clients who are in your situation, I typically negotiate with the judge for no jail time, by showing responsibility (that word again), and the consequences of jail on you now that you've got your act together, and try to reduce jail to zero, and THEN bring up a fine, instead of converting a large jail sentence into a fine, which judges won't be likely to do (and based upon your past conduct may be afraid you'll not pay).

I hope that all of this information helps, and that it answers your question. If you want more details, or if you feel that you need legal representation, as I do, please feel free to email me directly at [email protected] I am pleased to help in any way that I can to extricate you from this unfortunate situation.

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Answered on 9/07/03, 5:23 am
Arnon Sincoff Law Office of Arnon I. Sincoff

Re: How do I clear a warrant without going to jail

Beyond what Mr. Miller answered, I urge you to:

1. Outline for me the "string of events" to show how compelling they were in preventing you from meeting your probationary obligations,

2. Retain a lawyer familiar with the court in which you have been sentenced, and

3. Besides showing responsibility now, also show the proper attitude: that you realize the seriousness of failing to have met your obligations, and that you have put a plan into effect to ensure your compliance with the terms of your probation. That means setting up a schedule to complete community service within a short period of time, allowing for your present work schedule and other obligations.

I have appeared in the Valley countless times and am quite familiar with the judges there and their policies. Moreover, the credibility of the attorney who appears on your behalf is critical.

Therefore, I urge you to call me ASAP at 310/278-2320 so that I can schedule an appearance for us with the court at the earliest possible time.

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Answered on 9/07/03, 6:23 am
H.M. Torrey The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey

Re: How do I clear a warrant without going to jail

my firm handles alot of cases similar to your own, and typically are VERY successful in negotiating "no jailtime" upon getting such outstanding warrants quashed. so long as you can show that you are "reformed" and that you have the means and are willing to pay any outstanding fines, etc...we should be very successful in getting you everything you seek here legally, and at a very affordable fee. if you would like a free case evaluation/consultation, feel free to email me directly with your contact information, and we should be able to handle this legal matter for you as early as this week.

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Answered on 9/07/03, 2:58 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: How do I clear a warrant without going to jail

Well, since money is not a problem, yes you can probably pay a large fine and be done. I have done just that for others, and even been able to get it down to 'small' fines without jail time. You should hire good counsel, and he can plead your foolishness and apology to the court, suggesting your solution. Contact me if interested.

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Answered on 9/07/03, 3:28 pm


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