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How do I begin checking my Son's legal status?

How do I begin checking my Son's legal status?

Old Jun 10th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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How do I begin checking my Son's legal status?

This is an unusual question, but I'm hoping someone hear could give me some insights. My son (dual citizenship) has been living in Europe for many years. He wants to visit the States using his U.S. passport.

The problem is that when he lived in D.C., 20 years ago, he got a speeding ticket, which he ignored. He was back in Europe before a summons to appear in court was forwarded to him. He ignored that, too. (Well, he was a kid.)

The question is, where do I start looking to determine the status of a 20 year old traffic ticket? Is there a statute of limitations on the original offense? If a bench warrant was issued when he didn't appear at the hearing, would that still be in effect? I guess I'm asking if there is a data base that contains this information.

I really don't want him to have trouble if something pops up on the computer when he presents his passport at immigration.


nukesafe is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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Try the Office of the Clerk, traffic division, in the jurisdiction where the ticket was issued - not necessarily where he lived at the time.
Be sure to tell them the approximate date of the citation so they can research it.
It is not so unusual that once mature, a person wants to settle up the old issues catch up with them.
cynthia_booker is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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Obviously, you'd contact the DC govt. DMV. I used to live in DC, and it is hard for me to believe they would be able to track that, but I don't really see the issue. They don't go out and arrest people and round them up because they don't pay a speeding ticket, do they?

I think it is moot, as because he didn't pay, he would officially be found guilty, and I suppose because he didn't show up, he got points and perhaps even his license revoked. Because that was 20 years ago, it should be irrelevant to him that it was revoked due to points(if it was), as when that happens, you are allowed to reapply for a new one after 3 to 6 months, so that is long past.
Christina is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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When we were on our honeymoom 33 years ago we got a traffic ticket in Chicago. Since the news was reporting that the city of Chicago was starting to go after people who had more than 200 tickets, we figured we'd ignore it. (We were 22! First time away from home!) So far, no one has come after us or stopped us at the border of Illinois, Chicago, the US, or any other country!
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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I disagree with Christina. Perhaps (and hopefully) nothing will happen to your son but there is every reason to believe it could.

He needs to find out whether or not there was a bench warrant issued for his failure to appear for the speeding infraction. Bench warrants don't expire. They can be purged or made inactive but I would certainly want to know that before I travelled internationally.

From a lawyer website (http://www.kelawyers.com):

>>21. How can I clear up an arrest warrant?
Clearing up an arrest or bench warrant can be done one way: appearing in front of the court that issued the warrant. As long as the warrant is in the system, the person can be arrested for it in any state, in any contact with the police or government agency, and even coming into the United States at the airport. Immediate action to clear up the warrant is the best way to approach this legal problem. Voluntarily coming into the court may often prevent later jail or prison time if the person is actually arrested on the warrant.<<
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