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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27757
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My brother absconded from a probation he had two months left

Customer Question

My brother absconded from a probation he had two months left on and has been running for almost 18 years now is there a limitation on this and he was orignall sentence to five years and did all of that on probation .. is there anything he can do
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: it was Nevada it was a felony fraud
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no he has been so scared being told a lawyer couldnt help him becasue he was a fugitive
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I guess not
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.


I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and I may also have to respond to other customers.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Unfortunately, I do not have good news for your brother. Warrants are always bad news situations and they never expire. You can't "wait out" a warrant or run away from it. It will remain out there until your brother comes back before the judge who issued it and surrenders -- voluntarily or involuntarily -- to deal with his violation of probation or for the rest of his life, whichever comes first.

A criminal defendant gets no credit for time out on the street when he's on probation. As he still owes probation time, when he returns his probation would be revoked and the judge could resentence him to anything on up to the very maximum amount of time that the statute would allow for. He doesn't have to give him credit for time on probation.

If he had served all but two months of his five-year probation when he absconded, it is possible that the judge would be somewhat lenient on resentencing, particularly if in the 18 years he's been gone he has not had any criminal convictions and can show evidence that he has turned his whole life around. In my experience, probation will be asking for years rather than months and the judge would be inclined to grant that unless his accomplishments have been exceptional or that there were other special circumstances.

In any case, he doesn't make it any better for himself by not turning himself in. There are benefits and entitlements he may some day need which are not available to people with outstanding criminal warrants. It is always better to come in voluntarily than to wait for the police to find him and bring him back in handcuffs. If he's going to do this, however, he should not do so without first hiring a lawyer to pave the way for his safest possible return.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news and ask you kindly not to shoot the messenger. This is the reality of being a fugitive from justice, and it can't be candy-coated.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This is the hard truth he has to hear. We are not sure if he even has a warrant how does one check for warrants in their name without going on line and getting ripped off from those criminal checking places LOL...
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Sorry for the delay but I left my computer to keep an appointment and I have only recently returned to find your reply.

It's almost 100% certain that if he absconded while still on probation that there is a violation of probation lodged against him. The best way to find out would be to call the court and give his name and date of birth. They will be able to tell you if there's a warrant as it should be in the computer. Their services are free.

Alternatively, a public defender's office will typically also have access to the state database. You could call them and they could run a check, again at no cost. They might even be willing to help him return on the warrant if he wishes it, assuming he can't afford a private attorney.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.