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Old 04-09-2011, 01:43 AM
31 posts, read 47,084 times
Reputation: 15


Just curious how local misdemeanor warrants work in NY state.

I'm not going to go into details, but about three years ago I was lured to upstate New York from out of state for questioning by some small-time cops with extra time on their hands, and ended up being charged with "False Person" for allegedly lying about my name and date of birth to them. After questioning me for seven hours and everything coming back clean, and them realizing no crime had been committed, they could have just let me go, but they were mad and desperate to find a charge to justify all the time they spent investigating me. So I was cited for False Person and released on my own recognizance. They said I would probably just get fined if found guilty.

At that time, I was living out of state in a neighbor state and I failed to appear for the arraignment at the justice court a month later. A warrant for my arrest was issued, but was unenforceable and unextraditable out-of-state since it was a misdemeanor warrant, which are not listed in NCIC (the national crime and warrant database maintained by the FBI). Only felony warrants and violent misdemeanors warrants are listed and extraditable out-of-state. I've been stopped a number of times out-of-state by cops who ran me, and no warrants came back, and I'm certain they checked NCIC and not just their local/state database.

Six months later I moved across the country to the west coast to be closer to my family and to deal with my mother who had cancer. I have been living happily there since. I have no intention of settling this NY charge as It is not worth my time, and being on a meager disability income and food stamps, I do not have the funds to do so anyway (hiring a lawyer is expensive, as is traveling back and forth to NY from across country). I do not have family or any connection or ties to NY, so as long as I stay out of NY, I am golden. The cops in NY don't seem to care either as long as I stay out of NY and they are not pursuing me, nor are bounty hunters.

My question is if I should ever end up traveling through NY state by car to get to New England, say in four to five years from now (driving is cheaper than flying), how much "reach" does this warrant probably have? Is it just for that town or county? Or the surrounding counties too? Or the entire state? For example, if the warrant were out of the Buffalo area, if I were stopped in Long Island, does this mean I would get hauled back to Buffalo for such a minor charge, especially given all the expense and overnight trip this would entail for the cops?

I've had local county traffic warrants in the past from Pennsylvania, and when stopped out of county there in a border county, those counties where the warrants were from were not willing to transport me back, even though it was only one hour away, so they just told the cops to let me go. So effectively, the warrants were non-extraditable out-of-county, even though they were listed in the statewide database for PA. Basically, the warrants will show up anywhere in-state whenever you get stopped and run, but it is up to the originating county Sheriff's Department to decide whether they want to come and get you. PA is a big state with understaffed Sheriff's Departments, and the counties can be big, geographically. Does something similar apply in NY??
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:48 AM
Location: Hamburg, NY
1,350 posts, read 1,943,650 times
Reputation: 943
The obvious question to you is ............ why did you lie about who you were if you didn't do anything wrong?

First of all, its a common misconception that warrants expire in 7 years. Warrants never expire the 7 years people refer to is the statute of limitations with regards to filing charges, if you have a warrant they already filed the charges. The warrant (and charges) will remain active until 1)they catch you or 2) a judge dismisses it (not likely to happen). You didn't actually ask about this but you say the warrant is 3 years old & you mentioned traveling through NY in 4-5 years which made me think you might have heard this somewhere.

If you are stopped anywhere in NY you will go directly to jail then you will likely be transferred to the county you were originally charged in. Within a few days they will take you in front of a judge where they will set bail. If you can't make bail you will sit in jail until you are sentenced (likely several months later depending on how big the county is & how backed up the courts are).

BTW, there is no such thing as an un-extraditable offense in the US. Any state can extradite you for a misdemeanor or felony from any other state if they really want to (people get extradited for misdemeanor DWI/DUI and drug offenses all the time). In the case of non drug/alcohol related, non serious or non violent offenses most states choose not to pursue extradition because the cost doesn't justify the action ..... but that doesn't mean they can't do it.

Also, if you still have those traffic related warrants from PA you can expect PA to eventually suspend your driving privileges which is transferable from state to state. What this means is that some day you will walk into the DMV expecting to renew your license & your current state will tell you that your license is suspended & you need to square up with PA before your privileges can be restored or they can do to you what they (PA) did to my brother .......... he no longer had a PA license but they put a hold/suspension out on him anyway. They never notified him of this but they did notify Colorado (where he was living at the time). He was pulled over in Colorado for speeding & after they ran his record he was taken to jail. He was released within a few hours but he was told that his Colorado DL was no longer valid, was charged with driving with a suspended license (even though he had no idea it was suspended) & he needed to pay PA before Colorado would restore his driving privileges. His original charge in PA was 2 unpaid parking tickets ..... a couple hundred $$$'s really wasn't worth all the bs he had to deal with.

Last edited by jblake78728; 04-09-2011 at 10:20 AM..
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:59 PM
1 posts, read 2,491 times
Reputation: 10
I have a warrant for my arrest in New York CityI was living in Orlando Florida when all this happened I am planning to go next week to solve this issue I have proof that I live here when all this happened am I going to get arrested if I show up in court
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