Featured News 2014 What to Do If You Have an Outstanding Warrant

What to Do If You Have an Outstanding Warrant

Many people do not realize that a warrant has been issued in their name until something as simple as a traffic stop turns into an arrest. Why could there be a warrant out for your arrest? This could be anything from a speeding ticket to a missed court hearing, from unpaid fines to a violated term of probation. If you missed a court date or for some reason think it's possible you have an outstanding warrant, you need to know the right way to figure this out for certain, and how to handle an arrest warrant if there is one under your name.

How do I find out if I have an arrest warrant?

First of all, here's what not to do. Don't go up to an officer to ask about a warrant. You run the risk of being arrested by the officer so they can look into the matter. It is far better to call the court, where you can get a definitive answer. Or if you'd prefer, you could always look through GovernmentRegistry.org.

Better yet, you should simply call your attorney right away. He or she can go through databases that aren't public in order to tell you whether or not you have a warrant. If you do, then you can get the immediate legal advice you need.

If the warrant was due to a court hearing that you missed, then you could not only be faced with arrest, but you could be charged with contempt of court or failure to appear, and this could mean:

  • Jail
  • Driver's license suspension
  • Retraction of bail or altered terms of release, etc.

If you don't take care of a warrant soon, you could be in for severe consequences. Before the situation gets out of hand, you need to turn to a legal professional.

What to Do If You Find Out There's a Warrant for Your Arrest

This is definitely the time that you call a criminal defense attorney. Your best course of action will depend heavily on the details of your case, so be sure to let your lawyer know everything about your case. He or she will know what your local laws have to say on the matter, and they could help you handle matters such as telling a judge why you did not appear in court, and helping you avoid jail. Some of the recommended actions could include arranging a different type of court hearing instead of getting arrested, or asking for a hearing where you could ask the judge to remove a bench warrant that was issued for you. In some cases, a lawyer might advise you to turn yourself in so as to avoid a surprise run in with the police.

There is no one-size-fits-all remedy to this tricky situation, so be sure to talk to a criminal lawyer about your specific case as soon as possible!

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