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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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How do I find out if there is a warrant issued for me. And

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How do I find out if there is a warrant issued for me. And if there is what can I do to avoid getting arrested entering the country as I live abroad? If there is a warrant, it would only be for a minor crime such as shoplifting 6 years ago. Will I be get arrested at the airport?
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Were you charged with the original offence?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Actually I was arrested for shoplifting nearly 6 years ago. And I was sent to court. I did go to few trials but there was no results, I didn't get charged. But they called me again for a trial, and as I moved abroad I couldn't attend. So I don't know whether I was charged or not. Basically the warrant was only issued because I wasn't there for the hearing.
If there was a court hearing and you failed to attend then almost certainly a warrant will have been issued for your arrest.

The only way of finding out whether a warrant was issued is to call the Court with your full name and date of birth. They will be able to tell you the result.

If the Court issued a warrant it will be with the police and the UK Border Agency. Therefore, re-entering the UK could result in your immediate arrest.

The only possible way to avoid arrest at the airport is to (a) find out whether a warrant was issued and then (b) make arrangements with the police to surrender at a police station. This is not guaranteed but has worked for my clients in the past.

Even though shoplifting is a "minor" offence, it is still a criminal offence and failing to appear at Court is a separate offence in itself.

You could, of course, decide not to contact the court or alert the police and just wait an see what happens at the airport.
Alice H and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So I will call the court tomorrow to find out if there is warrant issued for my arrest. What I want to know is what happens if get arrested at the airport? Will I get sentenced and put in prison?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is there any way you could represent me on this matter?

The reason I couldn't attend the hearing because I was diagnosed with cancer and I had an operation and of course follow ups. Because of this illness I was in Great Depression for such a long time.

I know what I did was wrong and I'm terribly ashamed of myself, but right now I am going to uni to become a french language teacher.

Anyway I just want to know that if you could help me please?
No, its unlikely the court has made a prison sentence in your absence.

What happens is that you get arrested (at the airport or other place) and get taken to a police station and then to court.

The court will want to know why you did not attend the hearing. If you don't have a good reason then a new charge of failing to appear will be added to the case against you.

The court will then have to decide how to proceed with the original charge. If the evidence and witnesses is still available then a new date will be fixed for the trial and the case will proceed as it should have done.

If its your first time for shoplifting then a prison sentence is unlikely. But for the offence of failing to appear you could be - depending on your reasons etc.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So is it possible you may represent me for an additional charge?
I am not allowed to take on private clients via this website unfortunately.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So what is your advice to me please?
I am planing on coming to UK next week. And I am afraid of going to prison. Considering my situation, what do you think might happen?
You should engage a UK solicitor. If you contact the Law Society on 0207 242 1222 they will be able to put you in touch with firms of solicitors who do this kind of work. The solicitor will then contact the court and police on your behalf. If you cannot find a solicitor then you should travel and if you get arrested you can obtain legal advice at court. I recommend you bring as much documentary evidence about your ill-health as possible so the court can see this first hand.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Good morning ,
I called the court house about my case and they told me that the warrant was withdrawn in June 2011.

What does this suppose to mean?

Thank you in advance
It means there is no warrant for your arrest.

The court has obviously decided to cancel the warrant.

This sometimes happens when they review old cases.

It's impossible to say what the reasons are - possibly it was issued in error or the court decided it was no longer necessary.