In Massachusetts if you do not attend a court date on a criminal case, whether you were aware of that court date or not, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Once a court issues a warrant, the underlying case is put on hold until the person returns to the court where the warrant issued and personally appears before a judge to remove the warrant.
An outstanding warrant for a lengthy period of time could mean a prosecutor will ask that you be held on bail pending the resolution of your case. If a warrant enters on a criminal case, that warrant will remain in the criminal justice information system (CJIS) warrant database until it is removed by the court where the criminal case is heard. People are often charged with minor offenses for traffic violations and were not aware that they were required to go to court. In these cases, a default or bench warrant(s) is issued and remains in the system indefinitely.
Someone who has an active warrant for their arrest from a Massachusetts court can be arrested on that warrant at any time if they encounter the police in any jurisdiction, in any state. Additionally a person with a warrant from a Massachusetts court can be prevented from obtaining or renewing a driver's license, and also can be denied Social Security or Medicare benefits until the warrant is removed.
Many times, warrants are old, and are not discovered until the incident that caused them is forgotten and the person has moved out of the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Even when the offense is minor you are required to return to Massachusetts and personally appear in order to get the warrant removed.
Attorney Bradley regularly helps clients deal with complicated warrant removal situations. He is often able to get the situation resolved quickly so that his clients can immediately move forward with their lives.