Do Utah Bench Warrants Apply Across State Lines?
A bench warrant may be issued in Utah if you miss a court date or violate the terms of a court order. Although bench warrants are not issued for serious criminal offenses, you can still be arrested, even if you leave the state.
Bench warrants are not bound by the limits of one state. A bench warrant issued in Utah will apply across state lines. Law enforcement officials in every state have access to an interstate database containing information about warrants. If the police stop you in another state, you may be arrested on the bench warrant issued in Utah. At that point, you could be extradited to Utah. However, extradition might not be necessary if the bench warrant is for something minor, like missing a court date. Otherwise, there is a good chance you will have to return to Utah to appear in court regarding the bench warrant.
If you suspect you might have a bench warrant in Utah but live in another state, you can contact our Utah criminal defense attorneys for help immediately. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to schedule a case review free of charge.
Do Utah Bench Warrants Follow You Across State Lines?
Bench warrants, no matter where they are issued, may follow you wherever you go, including across state lines. If a bench warrant was issued for you in Utah, you might run into trouble regarding that warrant, even if you are in another state. In such a case, you can call our Utah criminal defense lawyers about how to clear the warrant.
Bench warrants are usually less prioritized by law enforcement. Most of the time, people are not arrested on bench warrants unless they happen to encounter the police, and the police decide to run a check for outstanding warrants. Most often, bench warrants are executed at routine traffic stops.
Law enforcement agencies exercise reciprocity when it comes to warrants. This means the officers in each state will respect, uphold, and execute the warrants issued in other states. Police departments have access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) interstate database containing warrant information. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation in another state, the officer might run your name through NCIC and discover you have a bench warrant in Utah.
What Happens If I Am Arrested in Another State on a Utah Bench Warrant?
If you are arrested on a Utah bench warrant in another state, you might be detained until the police can determine if you are indeed the subject of the warrant. They will also probably determine what the warrant was issued for and whether Utah law enforcement wants you arrested and extradited to Utah. This often involves some back and forth between the local police of your state, the Utah police, and possibly the courts.
For minor bench warrants issued for things like missed court dates or unpaid fines, you might not be arrested but released with a warning from the police. You might also be instructed to immediately contact the Utah authorities regarding your bench warrant. Call our Riverton criminal defense attorneys about your bench warrant as soon as possible so we can work on getting it cleared.
You might be arrested if the bench warrant was issued in Utah for something more serious. For example, if a person skipped bail on serious felony charges and fled the state, the court would issue a bench warrant. If that person is found in another state, they will likely be arrested and extradited to Utah. This kind of bench warrant will also likely be more prioritized by the police.
The extradition process involves legal cooperation between law enforcement agencies across state lines. Essentially, the police in one state may arrest, detain, and transport a person to the state where their warrant was issued. According to Utah Code § 77-30-23(a), Utah prosecutors must present a written application requesting extradition to the governor of Utah. The exact procedures of your extradition might depend on what state you are being extradited from.
How Do I Clear a Utah Bench Warrant While I’m in Another State?
If you live in another state but have a bench warrant from Utah, you might wonder how you can deal with the warrant if you live outside the state. While clearing or lifting a bench warrant is possible, doing so can be challenging. Courts are sometimes unwilling to lift bench warrants for people who skipped bail or violated serious court orders. You should contact our Utah criminal defense lawyers about your bench warrant as soon as possible.
You can work with a local Logan criminal defense lawyer who can reach out to the court that issued the warrant. Your attorney can contact the court to determine why the warrant was issued and how it can be cleared. In many cases, the warrant may be cleared by rescheduling the missed court date and having the court recall the warrant.
In other cases, you might need to come to court and explain to the judge why they failed to appear before the judge lifts the warrant. Still, some warrants will be lifted or cleared only once the subject of the warrant is in custody. This might be the case if you allegedly skipped bail or are wanted for a more serious offense.
Do I Have to Return to Utah to Deal with the Bench Warrant?
If you have pending criminal charges in Utah and a bench warrant was issued because of those charges, you will likely have to return to Utah to deal with the warrant and the charges. If possible, our Layton criminal defense lawyers might be able to help you clear the warrant without you needing to return to Utah. This is likely the case if we can clear the warrant by rescheduling a court date or helping you send payment for a low-level offense. Remember that if your charges are still pending, you will still need to come back to Utah for the new court date even though the bench warrant was cleared.
You should be prepared to return to Utah to clear the bench warrant, especially if the warrant was issued for a felony offense. A judge might demand your presence and explanation before they lift the warrant. If the warrant was for something very serious, you might have to return to Utah via extradition.
In cases where warrants are very old and for minor offenses, the court might no longer be interested in the case and lift the warrant. It is not unheard of for people to discover a bench warrant years after it was issued, and an attorney can help you get it cleared. Keep in mind, however, that the statute of limitations does not block the case from moving forward since the charges have already been filed. If the delay occurs after the charges are filed, e.g., by a failure to appear, then the statute of limitations does not come into play.
Call Our Utah Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help with Your Bench Warrant
Bench warrants never expire and may follow you forever. If you discover a bench warrant for your arrest in Utah but live in another state, call our Park City criminal defense lawyers for help. For a free evaluation of your case, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.