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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Extensive training and experience in criminal law matters, both prosecuting and defending.
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How do I find out if an arrest ended in a conviction? I paid

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How do I find out if an arrest ended in a conviction? I paid bail and did not show up for a court date in 1996. Now this is showing up but it is not clear how to determine the final disposition for the case.

J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

J.Hazelbaker :

Under North Carolina law and rules of criminal procedure, you could not be convicted without your being present. Your failure to show would result in a "bench warrant" being issued for your arrest. The warrant wouldn't be actively pursued, but would show up if, for example, you were stopped for speeding in North Carolina (but likely not in another state).

J.Hazelbaker :

The case will remain pending until you appear.

J.Hazelbaker :

Since the charge is a misdemeanor and was so long ago, there's a chance that you can resolve this with the payment of some fines and court costs.

J.Hazelbaker :

To verify this and take steps to settle it, you need to contact the clerk of court for the county in which your charge was filed.

J.Hazelbaker :

You may be able to do this online, since you have the case number. Many clerks have online file search capability.

J.Hazelbaker :

You can look up the case and it will tell you the status, whether pending, dismissed, conviction.

J.Hazelbaker :

You can then look up the county prosecutor/district attorney's office number (or ask the clerk) and call them to find out which attorney is assigned to your case.

J.Hazelbaker :

You can explain that you just realized this issue was never resolved and that you would like to resolve it amicably.

J.Hazelbaker :

That is, if you want to resolve it.

J.Hazelbaker :

Until it is resolved, you can answer "no" to the conviction question. Moreover, those questions usually refer to felony convictions, not misdemeanors.

J.Hazelbaker :

as far as proof that there was no conviction, you can get a print out from the clerk (or from online) of your "docket sheet", which will show the current status of the charge.

J.Hazelbaker :

Obviously, it would be best if it has somehow been resolved in your favor, but that is highly unlikely when there is a failure to appear.

J.Hazelbaker :

Still, it was indicate "dismissed" if that were the case.

J.Hazelbaker :

Like it will show pending and to resolve it you will have to be proactive, taking the steps described above to contact the prosecuting/district attorney, or hiring a local attorney to handle it for you.

J.Hazelbaker :

It will likely be handled more quickly by hiring a local attorney, but the cost will be significant.

J.Hazelbaker :

Please let me know what follow-up questions you have. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.

Customer:

THANK YOU.

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