I got arrested for a “failure to appear” warrant for a case that was dismissed, what should I do?

DETAILS

I just got home (midnight), and have been looking for all of my records, and found most of them.
In the morning I am going to call the public defender that I had during this case (misdemeanor possession of marijuana) and see what they have to say. I cannot find the document that I received on the day of the dismissal, but I’m guessing the public defender and the court should both have a copy. I would like to stay away from paying an attorney, because money is tight. But I believe that the warrant was wrongfully put out for me, and therefore I was wrongfully arrested. I did what I was supposed to get the case dropped, proved it, and had the judge tell me it was dismissed, and I asked if there was anything else I needed to do, and he said no.
Any advice?

ANSWER

I’m sorry you had to go through the anxiety of being arrested for a case that was dismissed. Sometimes, in my jurisdiction, when cases were dismissed and the person “failed to appear” for the dismissal, the warrant remained active even though it should have been cancelled.

It sounds like there was a clerical error in your case. I would contact your PD right away and have him/her check on the status of your case. If you have the case number, that would be helpful so that the PD can locate your case quickly.

In the alternative, you can go to the courthouse file room yourself and pull up your case using your name and case number. This is free for anyone to do since these are public records. It just takes time. Once you look at your case file, make a copy of the document that shows your case was dismissed. It will have the judge’s signature on it.

Then, make sure you show up for any scheduled court date on this matter. I presume you have a court date scheduled because you said you were arrested on the warrant. Bring the copy of the dismissal paperwork with you to Court. That should clear this matter up.