How to resolve a warrant for your arrest

An experienced attorney may be able to: Contact the court and arrange to appear for an arraignment rather than surrendering to police custody. Schedule a hearing on a bench warrant prior to arrest. Arrange to turn yourself in rather than being arrested. Determine the amount of any outstanding bond or bond increase. A bond is the amount of money that a person is required to pay to the court to guarantee that they show up for a hearing. Find out if your local district attorney has an amnesty program.

Some DA's run time-limited amnesty programs to resolve outstanding bench warrants. These programs may include the removal of the warrant or associated fees in order to make it easier for people to appear in court to resolve any underlying legal issues. Generally these programs are meant to address warrants for failure to appear for minor offenses such as drinking alcohol in public. Contact the court that issued the warrant. Once you have met with your attorney, he or she will contact the court that issued the warrant and verify that it is current and valid.

If it is, your attorney will discuss with you the best way to respond. In checking the validity of a warrant, your attorney can investigate the possibility that your failure was the result of an error made by the court. The court may have failed to notify you of the date of the hearing or may have changed the date at the last minute.

If this is the case, the attorney will argue that the warrant should be recalled and that you should be cleared of any charges or fines related to the bench warrant. Prepare for your arrest. A court may require that you be arrested before hearing your case on the outstanding warrant. Your attorney will meet with you and discuss the process of being arrested, which may include being fingerprinted and photographed.

What Should I Do if I Have an Active Arrest Warrant?

Your attorney will instruct you not to make any statements to law enforcement or anyone else. Refuse to speak to anyone without your attorney present. Arrange for a bail bondsman.

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Prior to your arrest your attorney may suggest that you or the attorney contact a bail bondsman. If you do not yet know the amount of the bail, your attorney can arrange for a bail bondsman to be present in court. This will allow you to post bail immediately if the judge assigns bail to your case. If you live in Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, or Wisconsin, or you are in the federal system, the use of commercial bondsmen is outlawed.

The practice is rarely used in the District of Columbia, Maine, and Nebraska. If you cannot afford bail, you will need to have co-signors put money forward on your behalf. Negotiate the time and place of your surrender. If a court requires that you surrender yourself to the police, rather than attend a court hearing first, your attorney will make arrangements as to the time and place of your surrender to the police.

Arrest Warrants vs. Bench Warrants

This could spare you the embarrassment of a public arrest and give you time to make the above-mentioned preparations. Your attorney can advise you of the best time to turn yourself over to law enforcement in order to minimize jail time before seeing the judge. Appear in court. In most cases a bench warrant can be resolved only by appearing in the court that issued it. This generally requires that you turn yourself over to law enforcement after consulting with an attorney.


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Once you are in custody, a hearing will be set, and you will either be released on bail, released without bail, kept in custody, or required to pay a fine. Once you appear in court and pay any fines or bail, the bench warrant will be recalled and become inactive.

In determining whether you should be released, a court considers the seriousness of the crime of which you are accused. You will attend an arraignment hearing during which the judge will determine bail. You may ultimately face a criminal trial. In addition to charging you with a crime, the court can take various actions if you fail to appear. Consult with an attorney immediately. Alternatives to going directly to jail may be available to you, such as:. An attorney will know how to handle an arrest warrant, will know the law in your state or community regarding failure to appear, and can assist and advise you in how to proceed.

An attorney also can appear with you at any hearings regarding failure to appear, help you explain why you failed to appear, and fight to keep you out of jail.

Being Proactive in the Case of a Warrant

If you qualify as very low income for a court-appointed lawyer , the Public Defender's Office or other appointed counsel may be able to help you at little or no cost. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state.

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Franklin County Warrant Defense Attorney | Arrest Warrant Lawyer Columbus

If you have a warrant out for your arrest, or you missed your criminal court date, here's what you should do. Why Are Warrants Issued? Courts issue warrants for various reasons. If you are pulled over or need to show an officer you identification, the warrant will be triggered, and you will be taken into custody until you are able to post bail.

If you are aware of a warrant against you, you may be able to resolve it by contacting the court and either resolving the original case paying a fine, setting a new date to appear, etc , or hiring a lawyer to help you petition the court to lift it. Obtaining counsel shows the court that you understand the gravity of your situation, as well as helping you navigate both the warrant and the original case.

Bench warrants are a serious matter that can negatively affect your life, even years down the line. If you need help resolving a bench warrant, we can help. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark , have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia.

For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at