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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience
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I have a protection order in place in Colorado Westminster

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I have a protection order in place in Colorado Westminster Municipal Court. The original charges were D.V., battery, and D.V. false imprisonment. I took the first offer from the Asst. D.A., which was 6 months in jail and 1 year probation (starting when I went in to jail???). While in jail, I called my ex to apologize for everything, but was caught anyway by the jail and their voice recognition. So I pled guilty to protection order violation out of Adams County, resulting in two probation officers and an extra month of jail time. I know I got lucky with the first violation. Months ago, however, after my release, I was going to court to modify the protection order because my ex and I were on amicable terms. After the judge refused to modify (8 attempts to do so), I left court. My ex was in a car with her friend and they asked me to get in the car. I hesitated, but then got in. It just so happened that a ret. Marshall with the Westminster court was watching (has known me for years) and called me to come in for questioning. I was headed out of town to go home, and he proceeded to interrogate me, accusing me of lying. Finally, after his anger continued to escalate, I admitted to getting in the car. So this would make my second protection order violation with the same woman. I currently have had a warrant issued for my arrest in the city of Westminster, but have not turned myself in...I have been on the run for 8 months.
My question is regarding the statute of limitations for a warrant. A friend of the family told me that if I am not caught within 7 years, the warrant goes away and I am no longer a fugitive. Is this true? I have also seen that the maximum penalty for a class 1 misdemeanor is 2 years. What should I do?
Hello.

Warrants do not automatically expire unless there is an expiration date noted on the warrant (most do not have this). After 8 years of non-service, the clerk of court notifies the prosecutor's office, at which time they have 30 days to renew the warrant. If they do, the warrant remains in effect. If they continue to renew it, the warrant could be outstanding indefinitely.

We cannot tell you what to do here, as we are only allowed to give information, not advice. You may want to consider contacting a lawyer to see if they can work out a deal with the prosecutor's office, as courts are generally more lenient on individuals who turn themselves in rather than those who evade service of a warrant and it will resolve the case so you don't have to worry about when and if the police will arrest you on the warrant. But ultimately, only you can decide how to proceed.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok I understand the situation is a bit out there. I think that I need to know when does the time start for this warrant? How does the process work within the municipal courts to make it stretch as long as possible so I can get more time with family. I have a feeling that this will be me serving a bit of time and i also feel like this could be entrapment?.... Any other advice for DV protective orders?
The time starts when the warrant is issued (i.e. the date the judge signs it). There are ways to stretch along a case until it is resolved and you would be sentenced, like postponing a case and working out a turn in date, but the problem with a warrant is that it can be served at any time and there is no way to stop it if the officers have the warrant in hand and are looking for you, or if you have a chance encounter with law enforcement like a traffic stop and they locate the warrant. The reason I suggest calling an attorney as soon as possible is that perhaps the attorney can work out something where you turn yourself in and get a bail set so that at least you can be out on bail while the case is pending and won't have to worry about jail again until sentencing. Judges are much more amenable to setting a reasonable bail for someone who turns themselves in rather than someone who is on the run and gets caught, because someone who turns themself in is generally more likely to appear for court rather than jumping bail. If bail is unlikely for whatever reason, then an attorney can try to negotiate your surrender for a later date to give you more time, and then try to get the case resolved quickly once you do surrender so that you can do your sentence and move on.