Am I in Danger of Being Arrested?

Question: ”I was held at a store and accused of shoplifting. I left my information and was allowed to leave. Can I be arrested at a later date? Will I receive a letter to appear in court? Might they have a warrant out for my arrest?”

Answer: Yes, you can still be prosecuted. However, absent a warrant for failing to appear in court, it’s unlikely that law enforcement would come out and arrest you, as the case would not likely go forward by the arrest warrant. With respect to the next portion of your question, it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific timeframe within which you’d receive a notice to appear. It’s unlikely that the case would proceed by the arrest warrant, though that’s not because it wouldn’t “qualify,” but rather because it would simply be more likely that you’d receive a notice. If, however, you failed to appear at a court appearance a bench warrant would issue for you. You can contact the city attorney’s office to inquire whether a case has been filed or whether a warrant exists.

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    Jesse P. Duran
    Attorney Jesse P. Duran is bilingual in both English and Spanish. He graduated from the California State University of Northridge (CSUN) with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Business Law. He continued his education at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, graduating with his juris doctorate and passing the California Bar in 2006. After working in the District Attorney’s Office in Van Nuys, he went into private practice in Lancaster, CA. ...
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