Legal Question in DUI Law in Iowa

Okay so i was put on probation for a year (6 months if i could pay off all the fines) for a OWI (misdemeanor) and i violated the probation with a public intoxication. I went to jail for one night and was supposed to stay a week until the court date and i had an appointment that i had to go to and they let my mom drive me there because it is a few hours away. They said to come back or they'd put a warrant out on me. Scared as i was i decided to flee. So i packed all my belongings and left the state. They called threatening me to put me away for 6 months to a year if i didn't come back. I just ignored them. So my question is, is the warrant nationwide? Since i'm 500 hundred miles away will they come looking for me? Can i just start fresh in a new state?

Asked on 9/14/12, 5:17 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner

You left the state to avoid prosecution or confinement because you violated your probation. That amounts to interstate flight to avoid prosecution, which is a federal offense that can earn you five years in jail.

Yes, the warrant is nationwide. Whether they would pay to extradite you is another story. But if you don't deal with it, you'll get jacked up every time you get stopped for a broken taillight and you'll sit in jail until somebody decides to extradite you or not.

You made a small problem that could have been easily dealt with into a big problem that will follow you forever, because warrants never expire.

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Answered on 9/14/12, 6:09 am

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