My CHL will be denied!


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DWS1117
March 24, 2005, 04:05 PM
Twelve years ago, when I was young, stupid, and drinking too much I was arrested for public intoxication. Against my wishes (felt that it was my fault and I should have to sit it out in jail) my mother bailed me out and paid all associated fines. Today I received a letter in the mail that states that there is a warrent for my arrest.

I called the attorneys that sent the letter and was told that I had to contact the court. Called the court. I was told that they can't pull the file until Monday because court is in session. They were able to tell me that there is indeed a warrant that has been issued for the charges of June 12, 1993.

My mother doesn't keep much in the way of records. Especially not for this long. She told me the same thing that I remember. We were told that all was paid.

I have been through numerous background checks in the last 5 years. I applied to Harris County for a reserve deputy position. I made it to last phase of the hiring process before I pulled my application for personal reasons. Been through background checks for job applications with Montgomery County Sheriff's Dept. and DPS. This has never come up.

I am a little pi**ed!

Now I know why my CHL app is taking so long and I am certain that this will be cause for a denial!! Guess I should have waited to buy a gun and holster.

Does anyone have any advice for how I can clear this since I don't have any record of payment? I do have th option of paying $175 and it will be cleared.

Shouldn't there be a statute of limitations? I know, wishful thinking.

Thanks for letting me rant.

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RKCheung
March 24, 2005, 04:11 PM
Could be serious business. I'd recommend getting a lawyer.

Chipperman
March 24, 2005, 04:12 PM
All I can say is, Good Luck!
Hope it all works out in the end for you. :)

MLH
March 24, 2005, 04:12 PM
There might be a record at the bank. Don't know if they keep them that long but you might check it out.! Good luck!

md2lgyk
March 24, 2005, 04:13 PM
Does the letter say what the warrant is for? I'm guessing since it never came up during the background checks that it's some sort of mistake. And no, there's no statute of limitations on warrants.

dolanp
March 24, 2005, 04:21 PM
At worst public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor so it shouldn't be grounds to deny you unless you failed to disclose that you had been arrested back in 1993.

RavenVT100
March 24, 2005, 04:23 PM
Um, if you can get it cleared by paying $175 then just pay it. That's less than one day's worth of lawyering!

DWS1117
March 24, 2005, 04:25 PM
Nope didn't fail to disclose that information.

No the letter doesn't say what the warrant is for. Heck I haven't even been pulled over in 10 years.

AirForceShooter
March 24, 2005, 04:25 PM
if it was more than 7 years since you paid it the bank won't have a record

AFS

DWS1117
March 24, 2005, 04:28 PM
Um, if you can get it cleared by paying $175 then just pay it. That's less than one day's worth of lawyering!

I shoudn't have to pay a fine that has already been paid.

When I applied to the Harris County Sheriff's Dept. I had gone to this court and gotten written record that this had been paid . Unfortunately all this had been turned over to the sheriff's dept and I was too stupid to make a copy.

Now I know whay my wife keeps records of everything. She is 33 and has records of everything she has ever paid.

Double Maduro
March 24, 2005, 06:06 PM
"When I applied to the Harris County Sheriff's Dept. I had gone to this court and gotten written record that this had been paid . Unfortunately all this had been turned over to the sheriff's dept and I was too stupid to make a copy."


No problem, go to the court and get another copy. Do it today, before the records get lost.

I will also bet the Sheriff's office still has a copy.

DM

spacemanspiff
March 24, 2005, 06:23 PM
dang it took them 12 years to get a bench warrant issued???

its probably just a paperwork snafu. even still, i have made sure i have all my court documents from 8 years back. you cant be too careful.
good luck!

DWS1117
March 24, 2005, 06:39 PM
No problem, go to the court and get another copy. Do it today, before the records get lost.

I wish it were that easy. The court is who is who issued the warrant. It seems plain that the records are already lost.

Edmond
March 24, 2005, 06:39 PM
Geez, I hope they don't deny a CHL to you because of a misdemeanor that happened 12 years ago!

patent
March 24, 2005, 06:46 PM
I wish it were that easy. The court is who is who issued the warrant. It seems plain that the records are already lost.

Don't assume that. Records sometimes are kept in funny ways. Worse, if they called one person at the Court to check your record for the CHL, that person may not know where to look for the payment thing, whereas the person who issuesthe written records of payment may know where it is.

As a general rule, never assume competance by filing clerks. Even if they are competent, when you file 10,000 things a day (or look up 10,000 things) its easy to make a mistake. That mistake is much more fixable when a live body stands in front of you and (in a friendly fashion) asks for help.

Maybe it is truly lost, but you won't know until you check. They may even have a record of issuing you the document they issued for your Sherrif's app.

patent

Double Maduro
March 24, 2005, 06:48 PM
Patent,

You beat me to it.

DM

shermacman
March 24, 2005, 06:52 PM
I had a warrant for arrest issued to me for not paying a moving violation that happened 23 years ago. :eek: The Criminal Court said I had not paid the violation. The Traffic Court said I did. It was going to take two weeks to resolve and my Driver's License was going to expire that same week. I paid (re-paid!) the fine. The problem went away.

If you get stopped and that warrant comes down on your head, the $175 dollars that you are worried about will be chump change. Make it go away! Don't stand on principle over that much money involving a drunken binge that will so adversely affect you!

patentmike
March 24, 2005, 07:21 PM
I'd go to the court in person and have them pull the file. There are all kinds of interesting possibilities like: they don't know what the warrant is for either; it was supposed to be for somebody else. Of course, they might even want to arrest you on the spot (bring money).

Be polite but immovable. Any excuse like "I'll have to..." , "I can't..." can usually taken care of with, "I'll wait", or "I'll wait for your supervisior".

Standing Wolf
March 24, 2005, 07:27 PM
Heck I haven't even been pulled over in 10 years.

That's no way to drive!

George S.
March 24, 2005, 07:35 PM
Wait till Monday and call the Court. Find out all you can before you go down there to straighten the paperwork out. If you go into the court and say you are there because you got a letter in the mail that said there was a bench warrant out for you, you could very well sit behind bars while they figure out the paper trail.

It might be worth a few buck to contact a lawyer and ask what you can do to solve the problem without risking being taken into custody (again).

Jeff Timm
March 24, 2005, 07:40 PM
Humm.. "I called the attorneys that sent the letter and was told that I had to contact the court. Called the court. I was told that they can't pull the file until Monday because court is in session. They were able to tell me that there is indeed a warrant that has been issued for the charges of June 12, 1993."

This seems very, very strange. Why are strange attorneys sending you notice of a warrant for your arrest?

Geoff
Who has a thing about Lawyers...99.9999 percent of them, give the other one a bad name. :fire:

Vernal45
March 24, 2005, 07:43 PM
Contact a Lawyer, pay the fine (again if you have to). Then trace the paper trail, and sue to get your money back for paying twice on the same thing. If you dont, and you get pulled over (you have not been pulled over in 10 years, your time is coming) you will sit in jail, have to post bond. All of that will add up to more than $175..

rust collector
March 24, 2005, 08:50 PM
There's a good chance your CHL app caused the warrant to surface. You'll want to get it cleared up ASAP, and the advice to review the entire file is good. Sometimes numbers get transposed, receipts mislaid, etc. Check the dates, look for evidence of payment, and if there is no record of payment you may have to pay. It would be easy to wrap more into this than it's worth. An explanatory note to your CHL issuer may help that process also.

kayak bum
March 25, 2005, 08:28 AM
Chances are it is a failure to appear or a failure to pay. Call ahead and find out what the "bail", ie the unpaid fine, is and have that amount of cash with you when you go. Someone probably mis-filed, but the chances of getting that straight this many years later are not good.
Also check w/ DMV and make sure your license hasn't been suspended as a result....

cxm
March 25, 2005, 11:12 AM
Do not go to the court or sheriff's office in person... unless you happen to like orange jumpsuits. There is an excellent chance they will lock you up until things get sorted out... you probably will have to post bond and depending on the the mood everyone is in you may get an arraignment the same day... you may not either... if you don't guess where you get to wait....

OTOH, they may just let you post bond until things are sorted out... or they may not...

Spend a few bucks on a lawyer... if you need the name of a good one in Houston send me a private mail.

A lawyer can tell you how to get things fixed... without being fitted for an orange jumpsuit.

FWIW

Chuck

iamkris
March 25, 2005, 11:42 AM
While it appears to be "just rolling over", if the $175 to get this "sorted out" doesn't leave any lasting legal effects, I'd just pay it and get it over with. As someone else said, that's probably cheaper than a lawyer. Certainly faster.

DWS1117
March 30, 2005, 01:02 AM
The court went back and opened the file from 1993 and confirmed that everything was paid. The warrant has been canceled. I am having them send written documentation for proof. :D :D :D

Rotorflyr
March 30, 2005, 04:48 AM
That is good news indeed!
Just make sure you keep a copy of that letter this time!

mcmoyer
March 30, 2005, 08:13 AM
That's great news!

:D :D

jamz
March 30, 2005, 08:28 AM
Maybe it's a Massachusetts thing, but like shermacman, I had a warrant issued for my arrest for a traffic ticket that I somehow forgot about. I was actually sort of arrested during a subsequent stop in a small town, but they let me go after we arrived at the police station becasue they couldn't find the bail bondsman.

My CHL (Class A LTC in MA) went through just fine ten years later.


-James

bigmike45
March 30, 2005, 10:01 AM
DWS1117,

I had something of the same happen to me. I went through a truck driving time in my life, 18 wheelers to be exact. The company I was driving for had me take a spare truck while mine was in the shop for service. Little did I know that the fifth wheel would not slide due to a malfunction in the locking system. This prevented me from adjusting the load to properly "axle out" the weight. I found this out when I drove across the scales outside of Edna, TX and the drive axles were heavy while the steering axle was light. Another problem was created when the Trooper opened the waterproof container on the trailer to verify registration and the papers were missing. Well there were two tickets issued to the truck since this was anequipment violation but my name was also on the tickets as the driver. I turned them in and went on about my business. I left Houston a year and a half later and moved to another area. I joined the local Fire Department and since I had a Commercial License they wanted me to drive one of the fire trucks when called out. They needed my license number to add to the insurance. The next day the local Chief of Police was knocking on my door with 3 warrants for my arrest. 1 for an overweight violation, 1 for failure to show registration & 1 for failure to appear????? Luckily the C.O.P. was my wifes cousin and we contacted the trucking company, who admitted that the tickets had not been paid and they immediately took care of the situation. I was concerned when I applied for my Texas CHL that this would affect my application but it did not.

Glad to hear yours is resolved. :D

What is really annoying is that if for any reason I would have had any LEO check my license, or even renewed my drivers license, which was due only 2 months after the problem was solved, I would have been arrested. If this had happened when my wife and sons were with me....I probably would have gone to jail for beating the stupid clerk that forgot to pay the tickets in the first place. :fire:

patent
March 30, 2005, 12:57 PM
The court went back and opened the file from 1993 and confirmed that everything was paid.

Great news, congrats!

I'm sure someone else may be in the same situtation someday, so it may be worth your time to post how you got the court to go back and do this, or let us know if the Court just did it on its own.

patent

DWS1117
March 30, 2005, 03:14 PM
I was concerned when I applied for my Texas CHL that this would affect my application but it did not.

The reason for my concern is that the warrant was issued while the CHL app is in at DPS being processed.

so it may be worth your time to post how you got the court to go back and do this, or let us know if the Court just did it on its own.

On the first attempt I was told that they couldn't get the file because court was in session. It has been explained to me that this is possible because some small municipalities keep all thier files in a large lockable rolling cabinet.

The second try I was told that they would have to see what they could do since it was such an old file.

When I called again the foloowing day the person started to give me another reason. I cut her off and politely asked if I would need my lawyer to get the file.

I can't say if that is what actually did the trick, but after putting me on hold for 15 - 20 minutes they came back to tell me that they had the file and all the fines had been paid in 1993. They told me that they immediately canced the warrant. I told them that I wanted it in writing. I should have something in a few days.

It just boggles my mind that even with the computer records not being consistant with the paper records that it took 12 years to issue the warrant.

As a side note, the warrant that was sent out was for failure to show DL. The PI was also on thier computer as an open case, but a warrant had not been issued for that. It boggles my mind.

foghornl
March 30, 2005, 04:02 PM
Get it in writing, and keep a copy with you.


Never mind HOW I know, I just know.

55 gr sx
March 30, 2005, 10:18 PM
Do they really put you in jail for that kind of thing in Texas ?
In cail all they want is money. if you show up with money they would not put you in jail here. It cost money to do that.
here a phone call to a lawyer would be 200$

MikeIsaj
March 30, 2005, 11:08 PM
You have to decide what it's worth to you. If you pay the fine again it will be over but you will still have it on your record that you failed to appear and that a warrent was issued.

An attorney can possibly make an arguement to have the entire thing expunged. If you have maintained a residence, drivers license, voters registration, telephone, etc, then all they had to due to find you arlier was call, write or stop by the house or work. If it is expunged it is completly removed from your record as if it never happened. You can then legally claim you never had a warrent issued for your arrest. That of course will cost you probably more than the fine.

It all comes down to whats important to you.

Double Naught Spy
March 30, 2005, 11:34 PM
DWS1117, I understand your concerns and understand why you think things are not fair. Part of what makes the Texas CHL system special is the fact that private individuals have a more rigorous background check than LEOs. You can still be an LEO with an unresolved hot check or domestic abuse charge, but that will preclude you from getting a CHL.

Something else concerning the statute of limitations. Applying for a CHL means giving permission to the DPS to search your whole life history including juvy records. There is a lot of stuff that potentially could be in your past that would cause you problems in getting a CHL.

Your situation brings up a very good point. That is, there are consequences for our actions. Being young and stupid can have consequences in later life. For you it is just a legal matter. You are lucky that in being young, stupid, and drunk, that you didn't get into a stupid fight and get killed or drive intoxicated and kill yourself, your passengers, or other people out and about when you would have been driving.

And no, you should not have to pay a fine that has already been paid. Then again, $175 will be a lot cheaper than a lawyer, if that is all that it takes.

I see in your later post that the warrant was for failure to show a DL. There is no law that says you have to show a DL unless you are driving. Public intoxication does not require you produce a DL.

BluesBear
March 30, 2005, 11:52 PM
Well, I guess we know who didn't reall all of the posts before commenting. :rolleyes:

secamp32
March 31, 2005, 12:11 AM
I am having them send written documentation for proof

Make sure you keep a copy with you in case you get stopped.

DWS1117
March 31, 2005, 09:23 AM
Double Naught Spy:
I understand (now) and completely agree with your entire post. I don't believe that anyone can predict how something that was done will come back to bite you later in life.

As far as that CHL issue, while I sometimes wish it were as easy as some states to obtain your CHL, it is a good thing that our CHL process is so rigorous.

In my case it has just been really bad timing. If I had not procrastinated this probably would have gone through before the warrant was issued. On the other hand, it may be as someone else said that the DPS background check may have triggered the warrant. I don't know if I will ever know. I do know that if the CHL is denied that there are avenues that can be pursued, such as an appeal.

I know that I will get my CHL. It will just be a matter of how much red tape that will need cutting.

Make sure you keep a copy with you in case you get stopped.

Dang skippy! I am already planning on one in my wallet, one in the glovebox, one in wife's car ( i do ride/drive that car sometimes), my mother will have one, one in a safe deposit box, one in my wife's records, and one in the gun safe. Is this going overboard? Quite possible, but I will never be without proof again if they try to come after me again in another 12 years.

P.S. DNS, about the comment concerning the fairness of the situation, what in life is fair? If life was fair criminals would be locked up for doing thier crime and law abiding citizens would not be penalized for other's crimes. I believe that I have certainly paid for my night of drinking, and yes, I am very lucky that I had not gotten in my car. Things could have been a lot worse.

Double Naught Spy
March 31, 2005, 10:11 AM
Of course you can't predict all of the consequences of an action today projected to some point in the future. Still, that doesn't alleviate the consequences. Just because you did something stupid at some time in the past and now acknowledge it as something stupid does not absolve you from the consequences. Part of the crappy part of the consequences is that we often don't know how things will turn out, good or bad.

However, when it comes to things like being arrested, you can pretty much count on the arrest being a repeated pain if your life does go in the direction of doing things like getting security or LEO jobs, or getting a CHL. More often than not, being arrested, be it for something stupid or something briliant, isn't beneficial. That is supposed to be part of the reason we strive to not end up in handcuffs.

I didn't suggest anything was fair, only that you didn't think things were fair given that you were complaining about how all of this didn't turn out properly.

Let me boil it down this way. Your story doesn't make a lot of sense. You were arrested for public intoxication and paid the fine and got out of jail. Great. You supposedly went through several background checks on your way to becoming an LEO but mysteriously pulled yourself out at the last moment for personal reasons. Then you had some really bizarre dealings with the courts on your legal situation, things like the filing cabinet of records being in the courtroom and court was in session (which it just bizarre in that there would be no reason to expect old records to be stored in high traffic areas. It would be more reasonable if they were buried somewhere in a basement, but not in a courtroom). Then the warrant does get sent out and it was for failure to show DL. That is just friggin' bizarre. So when did you fail to produce a DL to an LEO while operating a motor vehicle?

If all this bizarrity is as you claim, waiting for snail mail confirmation of a warrant being cancelled is not prudent. That is one of those legal things that you need to collect by hand. If the warrant is on the computer and the clerk does not get it immediately cancelled and you get stopped, you can count on being arrested for the outstanding warrant. In other words, if things are as screwed up as you say, then there is no reason to believe that the clerk will have rectified the situation in a timely manner.

MikeIsaj
April 4, 2005, 10:27 AM
BluesBear,

I started my reply in the AM and got distracted by life. When I returned inthe evening, I sent it out. Lesson learned; A lot can happen in 11 hours!

DWS1117,
My advice still stands. Cancelling a warrent and expunging a warrent are two different things. All warrants are cancelled after the warrant is serviced. Your record still shows a warrent issued, it's just no longer active. Expunged means that the record was corrected, not amended and the warrant never existed.

It sounds like they are responsive to the lawyer threat. Go back and tell them you want it expunged.

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