Know Your Rights: Do's and Dont's When You Have a Warrant

Oftentimes, when you have a warrant out for your arrest, it’s caused by some of the simplest cases. Maybe you didn’t pay a traffic ticket on time or failed to show up to your court date. Either way, warrants are nothing to be taken lightly. It’s a sinking feeling when you discover that there is a warrant out for your arrest, and it’s even worse when attorney letters start showing up in your mail, enhancing the emotions of anxiety! Best case scenario, you find out that you have a warrant before an officer is standing at your doorstop trying to act upon it. We outline some simple dos and don ts when taking care of a warrant.

Before we touch on how to take care of a warrant, we take a look at the different kinds that are often issued.

Types of Warrants

  • Cost Warrants

These are usually due to a ticket that wasn’t paid, or fines and costs that have yet to be paid as well.

  • Bench Warrants

These warrants are issued by a judge when a defendant fails to appear for court. They can also be issued when there is probable cause shown that a crime has been committed, or when new charges have been filed against a defendant.

Do: Get In Contact With a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer can help you in a variety of ways, including helping you spend less time in jail, which is what most would aim for. A lawyer can contact the court on your behalf and discuss your warrant and the surrounding circumstances. Additionally, a lawyer can arrange a pre-set bail so that when you go to self-surrender, you can be released on bail immediately.

Don’t: Panic

When you have a lawyer by your side, there’s no need to fret. Having a warrant out for your arrest may cause a heightened presence of anxiety, but with the expertise of a lawyer, they can work their way into the logic of a court and a judge. Additionally, a professional will provide with all the legal advice on the criminal matter and assist you throughout each court hearing.

Do: Develop a Plan

There are many ways in which you can go about clearing a warrant, depending on why it was issued and under what circumstances. You can go about the following methods:

  • Pay any associated bond

  • Report to the judge

  • Go through a bondsman to pay the bond with surety

  • Pay any fines associated with the warrant

Most of the time, people will decide to appear in court to handle the issue right then and there. Anytime you do appear in court after a bench warrant has been issued, you are subject to being released with a warning, incarceration with no bail, have bail set but incarcerated awaiting payment of a bond or full bail amount. Having your attorney appear with you in court is always recommended as it displays to the court how serious you are about making up your failure to appear in court prior to the issued warrant.

Don’t: Make Things Worse

It is never a wise decision to ignore a warrant the minute you discover it. Warrants don’t just disperse in court records and you are much better off addressing it head-on. If you haven’t taken care of it and an officer does confront you, do not try to run or pretend like you are not aware. This can only lead to more charges held against you. Do your best by staying calm, polite, and compliant.

Do: Understand Your Rights

If you think your only option is turning yourself in because you can’t afford to hire a lawyer or fail to come up with a plan, it doesn’t have to end there. When you hire an attorney and a bondsman, they will inform you of all of the rights you obtain and how they apply to your warrant. An attorney can advise you of the best course of action and a bondsman can be prepared to post a bond if one is required. It’s important to remember that it is often unnecessary for you to be placed under arrest to clear a warrant.

Get Your Record Straight With the Aaronson Law Firm

Here at the Aaronson Law Firm, we care about helping those with troubles with the law and with their legal records. Contact our firm today to learn more about how we can represent you inside and outside of the court.

If you learned something from our blog today,
please feel free to share it with others.