Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

I failed to appear in Prince William County, VA Circuit Court for a revocation hearing last week and now "Capias Issued" appears online under my case number. What exactly does this mean? It is a warrant, I assume, but what kind? Will someone be actively seeking me, or do i only have to worry if i get pulled over driving to work, etc. Also-can they search wherever i am located (such as a hotel room or relatives house) with this kind of warrant when they arrest me or see me enter? Last, i live in D.C., will this warrant have jurisdiction in DC?


Asked on 9/15/09, 3:05 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Sprano The Sprano Law Firm, LLP

It means the judge issued a bench warrant for your arrest. They will seek to serve it at your last known address if possible, but otherwise it will just come up the next time you have any kind of contact with law enforcement. If it was a felony case, they will extradite from outside of Virginia, including D.C.

If you wait until you are arrested, you will almost definitely remain in jail until that judge's next sentencing docket. If you turn yourself in right away (and can provide a somewhat reasonable explanation for missing court) there is at least a chance that an attorney could convince the judge to reinstate your bond. How great a chance depends upon the facts and history of the case as well as the reasonableness of your explanation.

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Answered on 9/20/09, 3:22 pm


sheryl shane sheryl shane, attorney at law

There is a warrant out for your arrest. The sheriff may go to your home to arrest you or wait until you get picked up for some other type of matter ie. traffic stop. If you are picked up within Virginia - you may be transported to Prince William to face charge by the Sheriff department. If you are picked up out of state - there may be an extradition hearing. You may subsequently be transferred here to Virginia. Waiver will be at issue.

I suggest you hire an attorney to file correct paperwork to attempt to have the bench warrent removed and turn yourself in. If you do not do so and get arrested, you may be stuck in

jail until all proceedings are concluded.

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Answered on 9/20/09, 4:58 pm

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