NEW YORK — Leave an old washing machine in your front yard, miss too many days of school or catch a fish during the wrong season, and you could end up in jail.
Because such minor infractions are considered misdemeanor criminal offenses in some cities and states, failing to pay a ticket for these crimes can trigger a warrant for your arrest.
Here’s how it happens:
Let’s say you get a speeding ticket. Typically, you’re given a certain amount of time to pay the fine or challenge it in court.
But if you don’t show up to the hearing or pay the fine, some courts will issue a warrant for your arrest — placing you on the same list as alleged rapists, thieves and escaped prisoners.
Some local governments say the warrants are a last-ditch effort to get people to settle their debts. But critics say arresting people over unpaid…
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