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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
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I have a couple of outstanding warrants for dui in massachusetts

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I have a couple of outstanding warrants for dui in massachusetts dateing back to 1985 #1 1989 #2 but have lived out of state all these years what would be my recourse if any at this point in time ?

Brandon M. : Hello there.
Brandon M. : Thank you for your question. I should start by saying that because the nuances of every situation are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. That said, there is good news and bad news for the person facing DUI warrants over 20 years old. First, the bad news: arrest warrants never expire. If an arrest warrant issues, the suspect can be arrested and prosecuted for the crime at any time, even if it is 20, 30, or 50 years later.
Brandon M. : the good news is that for non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious crimes like DUIs, a 20+ year old warrant normally will not be enforced. Even if the suspect was pulled over by a police officer who ran the suspects license and saw record of the outstanding warrants, it would likely be ignored. The police have better things to do with their limited time and resources when serious criminals are on the loose. Second, after 20+ years, the crime would likely be unprosecutable anyway since the evidence to convict likely no longer exists. The witnesses are probably long-gone, retired, moved out of state, or dead.
Brandon M. : If the goal is to have the warrants resolved, they won't go away by themselves. The suspect would need to turn himself or herself in to get a court date. I would recommend using a criminal defense attorney to facilitye that process to ensure that no new evidence is surrendered in the process. But it could be as simple is setting bail, going to court, and having the case dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand that massachusetts is prosecuteing people without the aressting officer being present in the court room they tell me that to many people are walking out the front door of the court room and getting there charges dropped simply becuse the aresting officer wasnt present becuse he or she is retired or dead is this really true? if so what are we living in russia now!
The state carries the burden of proof--if it can meet that burden without the officer present at trial, then you could still get a conviction. For any given case, it is very unlikely that they could meet that burden without the officer present at trial, but it's technically possible under the right circumstances. I seriously doubt that the prosecutor's office in your locale is proceeding with DUI prosecutions without consideration of arresting officer availability--I wouldn't listen to anecdotes. We're not living in Russia.

That said, don't confuse "prosecute" with a trial. Prosecution includes everything from the time the charges are filed through sentencing. Evidence, such as an officer's testimony, would only come into play at trial. The officer does not need to be present at every stage of a prosecution.

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