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Tamera
, I applied passport and was denied because I…

Customer Question
I applied for a...

I applied for a passport and was denied because I have an out of state warrant from 2002 for embezzlement. I was on drugs back then and I don't even remember what I did or didn't do. Didn't know anything about it because I was never arrested or charged. I have been clean and sober for well over 10 years now. How can I clear this?

Lawyer's Assistant: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Criminal Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. We can help you for less if you're not in a rush. Are you willing to wait a bit?

Yes I am. passport was already denied so I have cancelled my trip. But obviously I want to clear this up.

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
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1/20/2016
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 2 years ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,504
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hello and thanks for requesting me.

There is only one way to clear up a warrant and that is to go back to court and appear before the judge who issued it and get the warrant vacated. Then, you would have to address your case.

Of course, when you do this, you could end up being placed in jail as a fugitive from justice, so you do not want to try to do this unless/until you have retained a lawyer in that state who could pave the way for your safest possible return and you also have enough bail money set aside so that if the judge does incarcerate you, you could deal with your case while at liberty.

If the matter has never been charged, your lawyer could arrange a voluntary surrender to the police for you at a time and date convenient for you so that you could minimize the time spent being held by the police until you see the judge.

One way or the other, once you come back and the warrant is lifted, it is hard to know at this point what will become of the case. Sometimes, given a 14 year gap in time, the state will be unable to get its witnesses together any more and the matter will have to be dismissed. That's the best case scenario. Sometimes, the state has its witnesses but just to get rid of this matter after all of this time, the prosecutor will offer a very favorable deal to you that will let you return to your present state and get on with your life. That's particularly true if you can show evidence that over the past 10 years, you have turned your whole life around, the way you apparently have and are now a responsible, sober and productive adult.

Other times, the state will still have its witnesses and its evidence and feel it can still mount a strong case against you, and then you'll have to deal with your case.

Whatever happens, however, your starting place should be retaining a lawyer who can see what's out there against you and be in a position to protect you as much as possible so that you can come in and clean up this old case.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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