Default Warrant Removal

WHAT IS A DEFAULT WARRANT?

Dealing with the justice system can be a daunting experience. It can be tempting to ignore all communications from a court, pretend they never existed, and hope that life resumes as it once was. However, failure to attend a court date related to a criminal case can have severely adverse consequences to a defendant. In Massachusetts, if a person does not make a court appearance when requested, a defaultwarrant can be issued. While the underlying basis for a default warrant differs from that of an arrest warrant, the resulting action is essentially the same – with both warrants, the police have the power to arrest the defendant. Once a warrant has been issued by a court, the original case which brought the defendant to court in the first place is temporarily suspended until the defendant returns to court to remove the warrant.

ARE DEFENDANTS GIVEN NOTICE THAT A DEFAULT WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED?

Yes. Massachusetts law mandates that a person must be notified within 30 days if a default warrant has been issued. The notice is required to include the charge for which the warrant is being issued as well as a description of how the person may clear the warrant. Courts are not required to physically locate the defendant to give the notice, or even to confirm that notice was received. Instead, notice is deemed satisfactory if it is mailed to his or her last known address. Moreover, once the default enters in court the police can arrest you. In other words, there is no requirement that they wait for you to be notified before you are arrested.

A defendant should never make the mistake of thinking that the state of Massachusetts has forgotten about the warrant. Rest assured, if a court date was missed, a default warrant has been issued.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF A DEFAULT WARRANT?

Every warrant issued in Massachusetts is entered into a database known as the Warrant Management System. Not only does this warrant information go onto a defendant’s criminal record, but it is also passed on to all law enforcement agencies in the country and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Even if you are an out-of-state resident who was issued a warrant in the state of Massachusetts, these consequences will still apply.

As a result, in addition to a potential arrest, a defendant must also deal with the possibility that his driver’s license may be suspended. (Similarly, the presence of a default warrant can also bar a defendant from acquiring or renewing his or her license.) This can compound a defendant’s legal troubles – not only can he or she be arrested on the default warrant, but charges might also be added for driving with a suspended license.

Another consequence to having a default warrant is the termination of government benefits, including such benefits as Medicare, unemployment, and worker’s compensation benefits. In fact, the Social Security Act provides that no benefits will be paid to any individual who has a warrant for his or her arrest for either a felony or a misdemeanor, or for violations of probation or parole. A default warrant may even result in the forfeiture of a tax refund.

Finally, a default warrant that is not resolved within a short period of time might be used by the prosecutor as a reason for requesting a higher bail, or even that the defendant be he held without bail, depending on the original charges. A judge could agree that a defendant who failed to appear in court the first time might also be less inclined to return for another court date, and therefore impose a stiffer penalty as a result.

In other words, the effects of a default warrant can be quite costly to an unsuspecting defendant, especially one who unintentionally missed a court date because he or she simply forgot.

HOW CAN A DEFAULT WARRANT BE REMOVED?

Many courts will require a defendant to appear before the court in order to remove a default warrant. Sometimes, particularly with an old, forgotten warrant, the defendant has long since left the state. Unfortunately, even for a minor offense, a court is still within its power to require a defendant to personally appear before it to get a default warrant removed. This can create an extra burden on out-of-state defendants, who will have to take time out of their schedules and absorb the costs of travel back to the state of Massachusetts. This does not mean that a defendant, neither in-state nor out-of-state, who missed a court date should casually show up in court at a later date without legal representation to try to rectify the situation – in fact, because a default warrant has likely already been issued, the defendant could be arrested simply upon showing up in court!

There may also be costs associated with default warrant removal. First, there will be a fee for removing the warrant. If the defendant was actually arrested on the warrant, he or she can be assessed another fee for the police having to use resources to make the arrest. In some cases, an attorney may be able to get the court to waive the default removal fees, depending on the reason why the defendant missed the court date. The longer a defendant waits to clear up a default warrant, however, the more likely a court is going to enforce any and all fees associated with removal of the warrant.

The safest way to begin the process of taking care of a default warrant is to contact a reputable attorney with experience in default warrant removal. At the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, we are uncompromising in our pursuit to achieve the best results for each one of our clients, regardless of whether he or she is an out-of-state or a Massachusetts defendant. It may even be possible to obtain a result that allows us to stand in for the defendant to remove the default warrant, saving our clients the time of having to appear personally in court (and the cost of travel for our out-of-state clients).

If a default warrant has been issued for you, time is of the essence. Do not procrastinate in seeking legal help! Call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman today for your free telephone consultation at (617) 263-6800. We will work to remove your default warrant so that you can get back to your life.

Case Results >> Default Warrant Removal
  • Salem District Court: Default Warrant Issued Pursuant to Probation Violation Removed

    The defendant is a fifty-five year old woman who was on probation for an OUI. She was issued a probation violation notice after showing up to the alcohol awareness program intoxicated. She failed to appear in court and a default warrant issued for her arrest. Once she learned of the warrant she called our office. Attorney Neyman immediately went into court with her, had the warrant removed and probation with the same conditions reimposed.

    Read More in Probation Violations

  • Taunton District Court: Default Removed on Open and Gross Lewdness and Disorderly Person Case

    In mid-April of this year the defendant was charged with several counts of open and gross lewdness and disorderly person following series of offense sexual events in local stores. He was summonsed to court and defaulted on his arraignment date. His family hired Attorney Stephen Neyman to represent him on the case. Today, we went into court in Taunton to remove the default and start defending the case. The default warrant was successfully removed without consequence to the defendant.

    Read More in Open and Gross Lewdness

  • Plymouth District Court: Default Removed, Warrant Recalled and Probation Terminate for South Shore Contractor

    Several years ago the defendant was charged with a motor vehicle crime. He represented himself. He was placed on probation. He failed to honor the conditions of his probation and was arrested. He went to court, got nervous and left the courthouse without taking care of his case. The man stayed clear of authorities for two years. However, his failure to complete probation coupled with his default resulted in a loss of license. He was ultimately terminated from his employment. Two days ago the defendant hired Attorney Stephen Neyman to remove his default and defend his probation violation hearing. Today we went into court. The default was removed and the warrant was recalled. In addition, Attorney Neyman was able to get probation terminated. The case is over.

    Read More in Probation Violations

Client Reviews
We went to trial and won. He saved me fifteen years mandatory in state prison for this case
★★★★★
I hired him and he got the case dismissed before I had to go into a courtroom. My school never found out and if they had I would have lost my academic scholarships. He really saved my college career.
★★★★★
Melissa C. Cold Spring, New York, October 2013
My union rep told me to call Steve Neyman. From the get go I felt comfortable with him. He took the time to talk to me about my case whenever I needed .... He even gave me his personal cell number and took all my calls. We won the case and I kept my job.
★★★★★
Bart L. S.
The best criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts. Takes all of his client's calls at any time of the day or night. He was always there for me and my family. Steve saved my life.
★★★★★
Jacquille D. Brockton, Massachusetts
In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record
★★★★★
Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts