I have warrants in Texas for a traffic ticket and drug paraphernalia but I exited the US to Japan and I have dual citizenship. My US passport has my American name with my father's last name. I recently made a Japanese passport with my mother’s maiden name. But my question is, are the two connected and if I were to enter the US again will I be stopped and arrested?
Hire a Texas lawyer and ask their opinion. You may be able to deal with the offences in absentia, or get the warrants revoked with an agreement to appear on a particular date.
Whether you can or not, a Texas lawyer is the only person who can give competent advice.
are the two connected and if I were to enter the US again will I be stopped and arrested?
There is probably no way to know for certain. CBP has been experimenting with facial recognition technology; they might match the passport photos. They might have a data sharing agreement with Japan that would allow them to match your passports using other biographical data.
The most likely way for them to connect you to the warrant is that when you apply to enter the US on the VWP, you will have to give your fingerprints. I suspect very strongly that they check those prints against the NCIC.
While you won't be penalized for violating 8 USC 1185(b), because there is no penalty, you could well be prosecuted for violating 18 USC 1001 if you lie on your ESTA application by failing to disclose your US citizenship. Of course, if you do disclose it, you increase the chance of being connected to your US passport, not to mention the chance of having the ESTA denied.
This of course assumes that your warrant has been entered into the NCIC database. If it hasn't been, then you could enter with your US passport without trouble, just as you would not have trouble if you were stopped by police in another state.
You may get away with it but you will be getting in more legal troubles in the process. All US citizens must enter on a US ID. Don’t complicate your life even more.
It is illegal for a US citizen to enter US on another country’s passport even if dual national.
I would talk to a Lawyer yesterday but still enter on my US passport.
I live in Texas and have studied both Texas and federal law for nearly 20 years, and have been very active in multiple courts -- state and federal civil and criminal. The assertion that a lawyer is the only person who can give competent advice is ridiculous and the kind of willful ignorance upon which the suited vultures prey.
The filing of charges in Texas tolls the statute of limitations, and the charges are filed when the traffic citation is processed by the court (typically within a few days from the issuance of the citation). On a Texas citation you sign a written promise to appear, typically within around 20 days (with a few days variance, depending on the issuing municipality). If you do not appear as promised, a second charge (in addition to the charge stemming from the original alleged transportation code violation) of failure to appear is filed. At this point there are 2 charges filed and the statute of limitations is frozen (never expires) for both.
99% of the time a lawyer can get traffic-related warrants recalled (squashed) merely by filing a notice of representation with the court. However, the accused can also get the warrants recalled by a couple of means. First, 90%+ of the time, Texas courts blatantly ignore the code of criminal procedure as to prerequisites for filing warrants. Not only is this a very useful tool to get the warrants recalled, it provides ground to have the issuing judge prosecuted for official oppression (see Texas Penal Code 1.07(a)(41) and 39.03(a)(2)) (although actual prosecution is rarely required -- the prospect of it is almost always enough to make the judge realize that if he doesn't recall the warrant he's likely to face severe political problems that could end his career). Also, in Texas warrants, the judge or magistrate commands any and all officers to "arrest this individual and bring him before me." So the warrant is satisfied and extinguished once the individual appears. Several times I have walked into Texas courts with pending warrants and informed the magistrate of who I am and the fact that the warrant is now satisfied. Every time they have set a trial date and required me to post bond to ensure my appearance at trial. Of course, the OP STILL has the initial problem of getting back into the US to get to the court.
The problem here is that you're trying to juggle too many balls.
To start with, you had the Texas traffic matter. You didn't resolve it, creating more balls. Now you're trying to reenter this country without arrest or disclosing your warrants - creating yet more balls to juggle. When you inevitably, inadvertently lie to immigration officials just to keep all the balls in motion -- How many more balls do you think you can juggle? It keeps getting exponentially more complicated.
You're only human. You will mess up, and the more you tangle it up, the more it'll come crashing down in a way you have absolutely no control over.
Pretty weird, considering that you're trying to keep control. This strategy is a dead-end.
I like control. In your shoes I'd grab the traffic matter by the longhorns and wrestle it to the ground. I don't like lawyers either, but a good one (not a TV scheister) can make all the difference in the world. I find the right lawyer by calling top-rated lawyers slightly off field and the conversation goes like this: "I need help with a _______ case. .... Oh, you don't do those? Who would you hire for that?" You'll keep getting the same name over and over.
You've made it worse by fleeing, and it'll cost you more, but pay the price and move on with your life.
You will then be able to enter the US. Generally, authorities are rather unlikely to arrest you if say forthrightly that you placed yourself on the court docket to answer a misdemeanor charge and are going there for that purpose.
See Hanky Panky's answer.
But also consider that if you are entering the US as a Japanese citizen as it seems you're consider, that such an entry will be on a Tourist Visa and you must leave the USA within 6 months or be forevermore on-file as an Illegal Immigrant, with few rights and subject to detaining and deportation back to Japan at any time.
You can bet that at your detention/deportation hearing, your little game will be discovered.
Unless of course you really plan to renounce your US citizenship and never return.