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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1029
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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There is an outstanding warrant for arrest for one of my family

Customer Question

There is an outstanding warrant for arrest for one of my family members. The warrant is about 5 years old and stems from a retail store theft. How do I research this warrant, find out what the consequences are, and get a new date for a hearing. Also, I'll need advice on how to obtain a public defender to represent my family member.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) How do I research this warrant, find out what the consequences are, and get a new date for a hearing?

In terms of research, a warrant is generally not going to be available for public inspection the way most court documents are until your family member (who I'll call "Bob" for brevity purposes) is served with the warrant.

"Served" is simply the official act of handing Bob a copy of the warrant and informing him "officially" that he has been charged with a crime. Bob needs to go to the local police station or magistrate, and he can be served with the warrant there.

Depending on the seriousness of the charge, a magistrate may set bail (aka "bond") for Bob, or he may have to be remanded to the jail to await trial. (I doubt the latter, since the warrant is so old and this is not a violent crime like murder, rape, robbery, etc.) Once the warrant is served, it will be handed over to the appropriate court. The warrant and other documents will then be available for public inspection.

As for a hearing date, the court will set that. If it's a felony, Bob may be entitled to a preliminary hearing, depending on which court his case is set in. A preliminary hearing is a probable cause hearing on a felony in front of a judge to determine whether a trial should occur in another court. If it's a misdemeanor, Bob will have a trial date set. (No preliminary hearing for a misdemeanor.)

As for a public defender, Bob is entitled to an appointed attorney if the possible punishment for the crime of which he is accused carries possible jail time. This assumes Bob qualifies for an appointed attorney financially. If Bob has assets on hand, he will be expected to liquidate those in order to pay for his own attorney.

Retail theft crimes are covered in Chapter 720, title 3, part C article 16, subdivision 10 of the Illinois Code. Essentially, theft crimes are broken up by the value of the property stolen, as follows:

Value at $500 or less:
- First offense: class A misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine)
(Note, if not a first offense, aka "habitual larceny", it's a class 4 felony, which is 1 to 3 years in prison)

Value more than $500.00 up to $10,000:
- Theft occurs NOT from the person: class 3 felony (2 to 25 years in prison)

I doubt the retail theft was much more than $10K, but if so let me know if you need additional information.

The best thing to do now is have Bob turn himself in and start to get this issue behind him. The warrant won't expire, and will hang out there potentially forever. The sooner he starts, the sooner it will be over and done.

Important: tell Bob to NOT TALK TO THE POLICE if they wish to question him. You'd be stunned how many crimes could never be proven without a statement from the defendant. Since so much time has gone by, Bob could luck out UNLESS he opens his mouth. Silence is golden.

After Bob has gotten the court process going, he'll meet with his attorney. The prosecutor will hand over some evidence ("discovery") to the attorney to give Bob and his attorney an idea of the what the case is all about. If Bob thinks the evidence is strong and he'll be found guilty, perhaps he'll try to strike a plea bargain. If not, and he wants to go to trial, he certainly has that right.

Finally, if Bob does not qualify financially for an appointed attorney, try the Illinois State Bar attorney referral service. They can probably help finding an attorney for him.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1029
Experience: Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
S. Huband, Esq. and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I believe a court date was given to "Bob" and he didn't attend the hearing.


 


When Bob was in the car accident (he was hit by a car and was standing as a pedestrian in front of Salvation Army) and a report was run on him, the police suggested he go to the station and turn himself in.


 


How would I search public records for this warrant since it has been served on him (I believe).


 


 

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thanks for the update. You would have to look at the specific court where Bob is charged to find the warrant information.

I'll be away from my computer for a bit, but if you let me know the county in which Bob is charged, I can try to look it up for you. I suppose I will need his or her actual name then. I'll get back to you before the evening is over.

Thanks again for the opportunity to assist you. Best wishes,
Shuband
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Hello again,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Mr. Huband,


Will a public defender be assigned to Bob's case since he can't afford an attorney on his own?


 


When he turns himself in to the Du Page County, Illinois police station, will they reschedule his hearing and post a bond?


 


I am considering becoming Bob's guardian. Will I be able to manage his money and find a low income apartment he can rent? Will I be responsible for his debts going forward (and/or prior to my guardianship?).


 


Not sure you can answer all these questions, but please advise. Thank you,


 


Suzy Paparelli


 


 


 


 

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thanks for the update. Unfortunately, I'm away from my computer right now, but I'll respond to your post as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

Shuband
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thanks again for your patience. I'm honored you've asked for my assistance again.

Q) Will a public defender be assigned to Bob's case since he can't afford an attorney on his own?

 

Most likely. Assuming Bob has a sufficiently low income level, and he does not have any assets to speak of, once Bob is arraigned an attorney from the public defender's office or another appointed attorney will be assigned to represent Bob.

Below you mention becoming Bob's guardian. Are there mental health issues or cognitive limitations that cause you to consider being Bob's guardian? Or some other reason? This may be something to bring up with Bob's attorney.

Q) When he turns himself in to the Du Page County, Illinois police station, will they reschedule his hearing and post a bond?

 

Not exactly. Bob will be officially served by the police with whatever charges are outstanding. Then he will be taken in front of a magistrate or commissioner (i.e. some sort of judicial officer) who will decide whether or not Bob should immediately get bail. If so, Bob or someone on his behalf can pledge a certain amount of money with the court where he is charged to get out of jail. (The usual figure is 10% of the bail amount.)

 

If the judicial officer refuses to set bail for Bob, he may have to sit in jail a few days to a week or so while he gets a lawyer and has an "official" bail hearing in front of a judge. If that judge sets bail, then the bail is generally posted through the court. Otherwise, Bob will have to sit in jail through his trial.


Q) I am considering becoming Bob's guardian. Will I be able to manage his money and find a low income apartment he can rent? Will I be responsible for his debts going forward and/or prior to my guardianship?

 

Obtaining guardianship over another adult is a court-monitored process, so generally you have to have a judge's approval. Guardianship is different than just giving someone a power of attorney.

 

Once made a guardian, you have control over Bob's financial and legal affairs. A guardian can do virtually anything Bob could do.

 

By becoming Bob's guardian, you would NOT make yourself personally liable for Bob's debts. You're only acting on his behalf, not agreeing to be liable for him as if you were a co-signer to his debts.

 

Thanks again for the opportunity to assist you. Best wishes,

Shuband

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