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RI Man's 1974 Traffic Ticket Dismissed 37 Years Later

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 25, 2011 6:49 AM

Stupid things that you do in your youth can, in fact, come back to haunt you.

Thirty-seven years and $100 later, Michael J. Young finally has a clean criminal record.

There had been a warrant out for his arrest since he was 23 and he didn't even know about it.

Michael J. Young of Warwick, Rhode Island, was recently at the local Registry of Motor Vehicles when the clerk informed him that, in 1974, a warrant had been issued for his arrest, reports The Providence Journal.

His crime? He was apparently issued a ticket for driving to endanger.

If you're wondering how this can happen, it's probably not that uncommon.

A young Michael J. Young was probably issued a ticket and, for whatever reason, failed to pay it. He also probably failed to show up in court, which is usually required of reckless or dangerous driving tickets. That's when a judge likely issued the warrant.

Generally speaking, police don't actively seek out people with warrants unless they have committed serious crimes; not even if they have 20 unpaid traffic tickets.

What this means is that a law abiding citizen, like Michael J. Young, can go half a lifetime without knowing about a warrant until he files paperwork, needs a background check, or is pulled over while driving.

The good news is that, according to The Providence Journal, on Tuesday, a local judge dismissed the warrant, only asking that Young pay $100 in court costs.

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