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What to do when you have an active warrant in MN?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

What is a Motion to Quash Warrant in MN?

If you’ve dealt with warrants in life, you may have heard the term quash in court. Oftentimes, clients tell me how relieved they are that I got their warrant squashed. I’ve heard other attorneys in court use the word squash instead of squash. The idea behind the meaning is correct. A motion to quash a warrant is a request for the court to effectively get rid of the warrant and set a court date. The court may refer quashing the warrant as recalling the warrant.

 

How to address an active warrant in MN without turning yourself in?

I understand it would be great if there were a magical answer that didn’t involve an attorney, but your first step should be to contact/retain an attorney. Almost always, before the Court will quash a warrant, you need to present them with the State’s position. Meaning you need the State’s position before filing a Motion to Quash Warrant in MN. Your problem is that very few, if any, prosecutors will respond to an inquiry regarding your situation from a non-attorney. There is a lot of liability around prosecutor contact with unrepresented defendants. It makes little sense from the perspective of a prosecutor to take a risk to help out someone who they likely argued to have a warrant issued for. It’s not unethical and an easy decision for them to ignore you.

Your best bet is to have an attorney contact a prosecutor. They will almost respond to an attorney. There are many different ways to go about this. I’ve had cases where not only can we take care of the warrant but we can resolve the case at the same time without my client coming to court. When you have an attorney, it also shows the court and the prosecutor that you are ready to resolve the case. The prosecutor does not know you from Adam. I am familiar with many prosecutors. Even if I wasn’t they know I am an attorney and the case is more likely to get resolved without dealing with an unrepresented litigant. I find that prosecutors typically do not like dealing with unrepresented defendants. They have to explain items to them, but ethical rules make that very challenging as the opposing party. It’s a nightmare for them in many ways.

It’s not uncommon for clients to have many inaccurate beliefs about MN active warrants.

 

How long do misdemeanor warrants last in MN? How to take care of out of state warrant?

Indefinitely. It puts the case on pause. I just resolved a case for a Ramsey County MN warrant. My client was in ICE custody at the time of his sentencing hearing. Accordingly he did not show up and warrant issued. That was in 2009. In 2023, I was able to deploy the strategy discussed above, resolve the case, and quash the warrant in a very quick timeframe from when my client retained me. The best part, my never even had to leave California. We took care of everything on Zoom. An example of how to take care of an out of state warrant.

 

Can I get a job with a misdemeanor warrant?

It depends on the job. For example, a client with a misdemeanor MN DWI warrant could not work for Uber. I again was able to clear her warrant and resolve her all while she was out of state. It was a good result as well. Prosecutors are often eager to handle these case. When you hire an attorney it makes it easier on them. Again, another example of how to handle an out of state warrant.

 

If I turn myself in, can I just pay cash?

Again, it depends. Through a consultation, I will be able to tell you very quickly. Warrants will have a cash amount attached to them if you can. Sometimes, I can negotiate an agreement with a prosecutor to add a cash amount to an active warrant. In Minnesota, attorneys often refer to these as warrants body-only. That does not mean you will not be released. Only that you will see a judge according to the rules of criminal procedure (the 36 and 48 hour rules). The judge will then decide whether to set a bail amount depending on the circumstances. In probation violations, they do not have to. In non-capital offenses, they do.