To +Brian Zeiger, I have a bench warrant from a car theft from ten years ago in Philadelphia county. Assuming I turn myself in and the bench warrant is removed, will they still prosecute me and assuming the answer is yes, what is the likelihood that I am convicted of anything?
When you are arrested in Philadelphia, you are immediately finger printed and given a pp number. Your finger prints are logged with your pp number. The case that you got arrested on will be associated with the pp number. When the bench warrant is lifted ten years later, they still have your finger prints. When they go back to court to prosecute you ten years later, they can bring in the finger print card to compare it to your finger prints on the day in court. If the finger prints match, the prosecutor does not need to show identification for you as the person arrested.
Also, at the preliminary hearing, the owner of the car is not necessary. The judge is not going to throw out your case because the DA does haven't the owner of the car at the preliminary hearing after a ten year bench warrant. As long as the finger print match and they have the arresting officer, they will prosecute you.
Thereafter, at trial, they need the owner or last possessor of the car, but if they have all of these people, they can make out a theft case against you. It happens all the time.