In Hillsborough County, Florida, thousands of arrest warrants are purged from the system each year because they’re out-dated. This year, about 25,000 warrants were purged from the files of state attorneys and sheriff’s detectives. About ten to twenty per month are cleared because the defendant passed away.
Many of these warrants are over ten years old, because state agencies don’t have the resources to pursue minor infractions and instead focus on violent crimes and repeat offenders (these repeat offenders commit an estimated 90% of crimes!). Some detectives stop pursuing these warrants because leads are no longer relevant or the suspect leaves the state.
The county’s 14 warrant detectives do attempt to locate people who are wanted for DUI, failure to pay child support, petty theft, and other minor offenses, but they have a backlog of 33,000 warrants, with 100 to 200 new warrants coming in each month.
Source: Thousands of misdemeanor warrants not pursued for years, TBO.com, July 26, 2010
Contact our South Florida misdemeanor defense attorneys if you have been charged with a crime such as petty theft or drug possession. We are former misdemeanor prosecutors who can answer questions regarding your legal rights.