10 year old "inactive" felony warrant

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Latest post 09-23-2009 12:45 PM by Ford. 9 replies.
  • 09-23-2009 1:23 AM

    10 year old "inactive" felony warrant


    I am curious what exactly is an "inactive" warrant? I have been told that I have an "inactive" warrant in the state of North Carolina.  It is from approximately 10 years ago and is most likely due to  fake perscriptions.  I had been using heroin very hard for many years.  I had gotten on a methadone program and was very successful.  I then was involved in a terrible car wreck that broke both of my femurs in multiple places and was given quite a large amount of pain medication when I was released from the Physical Therapy Hospital.  I relapsed into addiction because I had to take the medication for the extreme pain I was in.  I don't really remember much about that time frame because I was just so out of it. 

    I have since spent some time incarcerated (in a different state) and was released about 7 years ago.  This was also for drugs.  Since my release I have successfully completed parole, returned to school (maintaining a 4.0 GPA), graduated with Honors (AAOT), and am beginning my Junior Year at University.  I have been clean and sober for over 7 years.  I have worked for a local Non-Profit helping other women re-entering the community from prison.  I have mentored these women and helped them return to school and build better, more pro-social, and fulfilling lives.  I have even served on the Board of Directors of this Organization.  I am currently working towards a Masters Degree in Biology so that I may one day teach.

    I have built a great life. 

    I was also not aware of this inactive warrant until a year ago when my mother mentioned it. I want to fix it but I am scared of losing everything I have worked so hard for. I am scared to keep calling the Clerk of Courts there because I do not want to red flag myself.

    My family lives in North Carolina and my mom is getting older. When I travel there it stresses her out so much I am starting to believe it isn't helping her.  I don't want to not see my mom or see my brother or nephew.

    If I am convicted of this crime I will lose my ability to finish school and may be incarcerated.  The crime took place years ago but I fear that it is a hot topic crime at the moment due to the death of Michael Jackson.  I do not want to be locked up again.  I have completely changed my life.

    What can I do?

    What does an inactive warrant mean?

    How does it effect me?

    How can I clear it up?

    What are the laws in North Carolina regarding 10 year old "inactive" warrants?


    Please help me figure out what to do and where to start.


    Thank you



  • 09-23-2009 1:57 AM In reply to

    Re: 10 year old "inactive" felony warrant

    Thank you for the reply!


    I find it very interesting.  I don't remember the case in which you are referring.  I do think it is an interesting leap that someone would build a good life because they feel guilty about previous crimes.  I imagine it is plausible but it is definitely not the reason I have built the life I have today.  I knew that I had to "get it" together so to speak.  I didn't want to keep commiting crimes and I knew my choice was to change or die a junkie and/or spend more of my life in prison.  I wanted a normal, pro-social life.  I wanted to be a valuable member of my community not just get my life together.  I wanted to help others achieve better lives as well.

    I don't really have the resources to afford an attorney at the moment.  I thought I would try and research the situation as much as possible in the meantime.

    I appreciate your response.


    I am definitely interested in more information from other folks as well.





  • 09-23-2009 2:37 AM In reply to

    Re: 10 year old "inactive" felony warrant

    Thanks for the article.

    I definitely see that it relates somewhat to my case and I do believe that you never know what will happen in court when you arrive! I think that part of the reason her sentence was so harsh was because she escaped from prison.  The article was negligent in that it didn't state exactly what she was convicted for.  The reader knows she was brought back and tried for the original crime.  What isn't stated (and what the reader doesn't know) is that the state of Michigan would have, without a doubt, sentenced her harshly for that escape from prison.  If I understand Law correctly she can only serve the maximum amount of time that she was originally convicted for in reference to that crime.  If her sentence was ten years then that is what she would serve (plus any new crimes she may have commited including escape). It is the same for violation of parole.  My assumption (based on what little I personally know of Law in general) is that she was sentenced to serve the time she was originally convicted for (all of it) plus time for escape (which can be harsh...and understandably so), and possibly other things like fraud, fugitive from justice, etc. 

    In my particular case, I have not been convicted of a crime.  I haven't been hiding in any way. I have been enrolled in school with Federal assistance, have been issued a valid drivers license in my name, car titles, parole, travel papers from my current state to the state with the inactive warrant, etc. I was released from a Southern state that does NOT play around and contacts all other states of residence to see if the person (in this case me) has warrants and what the state where the warrant is issued wants to do.  If they want you the retaining state does not release you. They hold you until you are picked up or extradited.  That is also the reason that I did not know of any other warrants for my arrest.

    I think what they did to the lady in Michigan was harsh.  However, I understand that she was still a convicted person who had escaped from prison and had been living a fraudulent life albeit a "good" life.  She was still living as a criminal though because she was an escaped con.  That is quite a bit different from my situation.

    It was a good article.

  • 09-23-2009 8:28 AM In reply to

    Never heard of such a thing . . .

    A warrant is an order directing law enforcement to arrest someone.  As long as it is there, it is "active."  It only becomes "inactive" by an order quashing it.  Then, technically, it isn't inactive but just gone.

    A warrant may include what states the issuing state will come get someone from.  My guess is the warrant doesn't include whatever state you are in.  That is, cops might find it and ignore it because it is a waste of time to hold someone on a warrant when the issuing state won't come get them.

    So, who told you it was inactive?  As a general rule, if someone tells you something that doesn't make sense, ask THEM to clarify it.

    What are the laws in North Carolina regarding 10 year old "inactive" warrants?

    No laws that benefit a defendant.  Warrants don't expire.  Statutes of limitation govern the filing of a charge, not activity on a warrant.  In any event, statutes of limitation are almost always suspended if you are outside the state.

    You need to consult an attorney in NC.  Your right to appointed counsel doesn't apply until questioning or you are arrested on the warrant and arraigned.

    You should recognize that the state might have tremendous difficulty prosecuting a crime from 10 years ago.  Police officers leave agencies, retire, get shot, etc.  Civilian witnesses, same thing, but fewer shootings.

  • 09-23-2009 11:53 AM In reply to

    Re: 10 year old "inactive" felony warrant

    Well that is good to know.  It certainly was a harsh sentence for the crime.  It really is bothersome that because an issue is a hot topic at a particular moment the sentencing can be unduly extreme. 


    I agree anytime a warrant pops up and you get arrested is a bad time :).


    Thank you again for all the response and I will keep you posted.

  • 09-23-2009 12:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Never heard of such a thing . . .

    The Clerk of Court and the Sheriff's Department both told me that there was "no active warrant" but a year later told my mom that I had an "Inactive warrant".  They explained it by saying that it was inactive in the sense that they were not actively seraching for the person (in this case me) but if pulled or over (or other police contact) an officer COULD arrest me if they chose to. 

    It was a weird way to explain things to me.  My assumption was that if I had no "active warrant" then I had no warrant.  The first time I called that is how it was explained to me.  The second call was made by my mother and it  was explained as an "inactive warrant".  I think I spoke with both the Sheriffs Depatment and Clerk of Courts and she spoke with the Clerk of Courts about one year apart from each other.

    I think that the warrant doesn't even show on my record or the database in this state or I would have never made it through 5 years of parole.  Does that make sense to you?  I also recieved travel papers from this state to the warrant state so that I could see my family around Christmas.  Believe me, I did NOT have a kind parole officer :). So I believe all that would have been searched for.

    Thank goodness on the fewer shootings!


    Yes, I have come to realize that I need to contact an attorney.  If I doand he starts asking around will it cause them to actively search for me?

    Thank you for your insight!


  • 09-23-2009 12:45 PM In reply to

    Limited resources . . .

    The vast majority of warrants don't involve cops going and looking for people.  They may do that on high-profile cases, or dangerous cases, like violent crimes, gangs and drugs.  The vast majority of warrants are served through traffic stops and the like.

    Whether inquiry will cause them to start looking for you depends on how many cops they have sitting around doing nothing.

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