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What to Do if You Have a Bench Warrant

Updated on December 30, 2016
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Having a warrant for your arrest is no laughing matter. Oh, the jokes will abound from family and friends.

  • “What kind of bird can’t fly?” (Answer: Jailbird.)
  • “We have your plane tickets for your flight on ‘Con-Air.’”
  • The ever-popular "Dead Man Walking” remark (as you’re leaving the jailhouse).

To the person who has the outstanding warrant, however, the experience can be very frightening. There are various types of warrants, but the most common is called a “bench warrant.”

Bench Warrants Are the Most Common Kind of Warrant

A bench warrant happens after you have violated the rules of court; it is a written order, issued by a judge, that authorizes the police to bring you in—first to jail, then to appear in court. The police treat it like an arrest warrant and use it to bring you in front of the judge in order to complete your unfinished business in court.

A bench warrant means that the police aren’t going to come knocking on your door looking for you. The bench warrant puts your name into a statewide database, and if you interact with police for any reason, even if it's not your fault (like if someone rear-ends your car in traffic), you will be taken into custody. If you have any contact with the police or attempt to renew your drivers license, you will be arrested, handcuffed, and put in jail until a bond is paid on your behalf.

Is a Bench Warrant Avoidable?

One would think the easiest way to avoid getting arrested is to avoid trouble. Unfortunately, this does not always work out. Sometimes you may not even be aware that there is a warrant for your arrest.

Having a bench warrant does not necessarily mean that you are a criminal. It means the judge wants to talk to you. Judges are busy; they aren’t going to take the time to give you a call.

The request will be sent to your known address, and if you do not respond by calling the court or showing up for an appointment, the judge will issue a bench warrant. If the court system does not have your correct address, there will be no attempt to get the correct one. They will simply mail paperwork to the address they have on file. Then the next time you get pulled over, your name will be run through the system by the police officer.

If you have a warrant, you will be taken into custody and held until you pay the bond (the amount of money the court has determined that you owe) or until an appointed time when the judge can see you.

These are the things you can do to avoid complications:

1. Do Not Argue With the Police

If you are allowed to post bond, you will be given an appointment to go to the courthouse to have a chat with the judge. The judge may ask you why you didn’t pay what you owed. If you owe more than the bond amount, you may be given more time to pay. The courts are not unreasonable. They know people have to survive, but they need their money to operate as well.

Most people don’t realize they have a warrant until they are pulled over by the police. If this happens, the only thing you can do is ask what it is for. The police will tell you to the best of their knowledge. There is absolutely no point in arguing. You are going to jail (unless of course you happen to have proof that the amount owed was paid). Depending on the police and your cooperation, you may or may not be handcuffed.

Do not attempt to argue with the police officer. It will only make things worse if you do. If you need to make a phone call and you are being cooperative, the police officer may allow you to use your cell phone. If you don’t have one, he or she may allow you to use his/hers. You must remember they didn’t create this problem; it was there when you were pulled over. It is not their fault.

2. Comply With the Arrest

  • If you had someone in your vehicle with you and they have a license, their license may be checked before being allowed to drive your vehicle. If you were alone, your vehicle will be towed and impounded at your expense.
  • You will be taken to the nearest police station and booked. This means having your fingerprints and your picture taken (front and both sides).
  • You will have to remove your shoes and possibly change into “jail" clothes (a jumpsuit) depending on your county. If you inform the police officer that your bond will be paid as soon as possible, you may not have to change into jail clothes.
  • You will be searched as part of the booking process.
  • Once your are bonded out and being released, you may be given a bill for your jail stay. This is also called a booking fee. You will be charged for a full day's stay even if you didn’t get to eat your cold baloney sandwich and warm Kool-Aid. This must be paid or there could be another warrant issued.

3. Don't Hide: Respond to the Bench Warrant ASAP

If you find out there is a warrant for your arrest before getting pulled over, there are things you can do to avoid going to jail.

Your first step should be to call the courthouse to ask what the warrant is for. You will be told if you owe any outstanding fines/fees. These can be taken care of quickly by either paying them or setting up an appointment to speak with the judge to make payment arrangements. Depending on the reason for the bench warrant, you still may have to turn yourself in to the police department.

The courts will be glad that you have made contact and will be more than happy to work with you on making arrangements to pay the money you owe. Because the court systems in most counties are so backed up and judges' calendars are so full, the clerks are in charge of collecting monies owed. They are quite willing to take the money or payments without you ever having to see the judge.

4. Come to Court on Time and Prepared

  • If you decide to see the judge and dispute the charges, you will be given an appointment time.
  • Make sure you have all your paperwork in order before your appointment time.
  • You should arrive 15 minutes early so the bailiff (the judge’s assistant) is aware that you are there and can inform the judge of your presence. Your file will be there as well.
  • Your name will be called and now is the time you get to speak with the judge. Do not raise your voice or yell at the judge. If you do, you could be held in "contempt of court." This is just a fancy way for the judge to say, “This is my house and you don’t get to yell in it.” Keep your voice even and tell your side of the story. The judge is reasonable and will listen to you.
  • If you have proof that you don’t owe the money, now is the time to show it. You will give your paperwork to the bailiff and he/she will in turn hand it over to the judge. If he feels that you have given ample evidence, your charges (fines/fees) may be dismissed. If you have paid a bond (to get out of jail), it may now be refunded.

5. Make Your Payments

If it is determined that you still owe money, the judge may ask you what you can afford to pay (if no bond has been posted or if money is still owed). You will be given an amount to pay (usually per month) and a date to have it paid by. Make every effort on your part to make these payments on time. If for some reason your payment will be late, try calling the courthouse and speaking with the clerk. If you let them know when the payment will be made, they will be more likely to work with you. If you don’t pay the money owed, it will start all over again, with a bench warrant issued for your arrest.

The next time, the judge and the clerks may not be so willing to work with you, so try and do it right the first time around.

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      Robert 90 minutes ago

      DUI arrest month ago, called for court date was told it would take 4-6 weeks & receive in mail. Called again today & was told the court appearance was today, I missed it so now warrent issued for my arrest & $1000 bail. Never received court date in mail, was told they mailed it to a different address in a city I've never lived. Now I have to turn myself in, be rebooked & pay another $1000. What are MY rights and options?

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      Tyrann 3 days ago

      Got traffic bench warrants. Got to depend on others to get around. Constantly in fear of going to jail. I stay in a country town with only a few other young blacks. ALL of them are in the same boat with me. It makes me feel like a failure in life and suicidal. I'm 28

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      Edward 2 weeks ago

      I am on probation for child support and was working and paying but missed a hearing and a warrant was issued.im wondering if I get a new job will I be arrested when the gov. finds out and the garnishment starts again

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      ryan 2 months ago

      i asked my judge to pay my 6 month probation fine all together he said yes. I paid the court clerk in front of him. the attornys office set out a bench warrant and the money I paid to the clerk, what do I do to refund that money and lift the warrant if I don't have a receipt because it was 2 years ago

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
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      Sweetsusieg 2 months ago from Michigan

      Well - that all depends on the reason said person is in jail. If they are in jail specifically for non-payment then it is quite possible that paying that debt would get them released.. I would go and talk to the County Clerk and see what they have to say about it. The person who is in jail should also know, maybe a visit on visiting day could answer a few questions.

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      Koi 2 months ago

      Hi I wanted to ask if someone is already incarcerated for their bench warrant, is there a way that a person can pay off their warrant through the courts while that person is in jail? And once the warrant is paid off will they be able to bond out?

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      Jim 3 months ago

      A friend has a bench warrent in New York City for misdemeanor possession of marajuana which is 10 years old. He lives in California. When he had local police check his record it was still showing. Will it ever expire? If not, how do I get it off my record?

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      Tammy 3 months ago

      I had moved from ga to il last year I guess I missed court in Nov but I never got the letter so they issued a bench warrent for failor to appear than yesterday I did get one saying I need to be in ga for court on June 5 or a bench warrent will be issued when I go what you think will happen I didn't miss it on purpose it's for misaminor

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      Olivia heisley 4 months ago

      My bf is being treated unfairly and there was consipcy and illegal searches, they broke my leg and busted out my my teeth. I need some legal help. I filed a civil lawsuit against the police officers but got denied. All because I wasn't working for a year due to my mental, physical state. I am gonna file a appeal and a civil against Ventura county law enforcement

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
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      Sweetsusieg 5 months ago from Michigan

      Wow, I am so sorry to hear that. He has gotten you into a pickle for sure. You say he has told you that 'he took care of it' - in order for him to have done that he would have already admitted that he used an alias, so it's not like you would be getting him into any trouble. I would suggest that you call the court and make arrangements to go in front of the Judge for a FTA (Failure to appear) - bring your brother at that time, let him explain what he did. If you go in front of the Judge and lie, yes that is breaking the Law and you could actually get into worse trouble than what your brother could face. Never lie to the Judge - they spend 5 days a week at least 50 weeks a year (two weeks vacation) studying the faces of those who come in front of them - there is no lie that you could tell that would be good enough to convince a Judge.

      Best of Luck to you!!

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      Bradley Marcum 5 months ago

      Hello and thank you for the info.....I know this is an old thread but I wanted to ask a question that you may be able to answer...

      I recently found out that my brother used my name in a traffic stop. (Ticket was for not having drivers license on him). He had warrants at the time and didn't want to go to jail at that time. He swore he would take care of it......long story short, he didn't take care of it and now I have a warrant for failure to appear. My question is can I handle this In a way that doesn't involve me turning my brother in?

      In other words, can I say that I found out about the warrant by accident and play dumb like I have no clue who would have used my name? Is that breaking the law? Can my name be cleared if I have proof it wasn't me who was originally pulled over?

      Thanks so much for your help

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      Sweetsusieg 7 months ago

      @ T-funk - The best answer I have for you would be to start making phone calls. Find out what the warrant is for - if it is a failing to appear, court fines and fees that weren't paid - or whatever the reason for the warrant is. Once you know the 'whys' then you can figure out the 'how to fix'. Your first step is the County clerk's office, after that then the name of the Judge and his/her clerk's office.

      Whatever you do - be as nice and as patient as humanly possible with each person in that courthouse - kindness will get you everywhere!! They will be more willing to help you if you are nice, even if they can't help you they will help direct you to the next step. If you are mean or snarky or snotty to them you will get absolutely nowhere.

      @Jessica - How did it turn out? Did he go to court and get it all settled?

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      T Funk 7 months ago

      I just found out that I have a bench warrant from almost 2 years ago, I had no clue about it until a new job did a background check and it came up. I want to know if there is anyway I can take care of it over the phone, I no longer live in the state it is in and have no way to get back . It is a misdemeanor, " exhibit a deadly weapon other than firearm ". It was used on myself, no other person was at risk or involved. I was never given a court date or official charges, spent the night in a holding cell. I got out, went home and never heard another thing about it. I'm wondering what is the next course of action I should take ? I called the courts and they told me to go to my local sheriff /police station /office, and they would push out a court date in the state it is for . I have no way to get back to that state and as of now no job until further notice from the company ( I've already been working there for a month and a half ). I am so lost\, frustrated, and confused, any info / help on my situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you .

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      Chris G 7 months ago

      Silly question maybe but do you need your photo ID on your person when you turn yourself in on a warrant

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      Andrew Esteves 8 months ago

      May there be anyone willing ( State New Jersey) to assist me, with a free consultation . Quick overview. I have obtained a bench warrant for missing a court date. Reason for the court date- to update my Time Payment Plan. I would appreciate a quick response via E-mail or Via phone considering my first Probation hearing is the 27th. Please and thank you.

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      Jessica 8 months ago

      My fiance lost his wallet a few weeks ago, he went to the DMV to replace it and was informed that he had a warrant out for his arrest and was given a printout of the case involved. That case was settled about 6 months ago. When he called the courts he was informed it was for another case. In 2014, he was arrested for "attempted theft," taken to jail and given a court date. He went to his court hearing but the case was "not filed" and was told to check in by calling or check online if it the case was file. Time goes by and he loses his paperwork (which I recently found two days ago). He called the first couple of months and checked online using his name and DOB but nothing comes up. Now all of a sudden he has a warrant for his arrest. He has been given another court date for tomorrow. How likely is it that he will be arrested? We cannot afford for him to lose his job over this.

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      Sweetsusieg 9 months ago

      Oh you are very welcome Dana - I'm so glad it helped!

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      Dana 9 months ago

      Thank you, Sweetsusieg! I really appreciated this blog and related comments as well. More informative than even info you would get from a legal site.

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      Sweetsusieg 9 months ago

      Dana - that is Great news to hear!! Congrats to you and good job on looking it up!!

      Kind of weird - Some place do and some don't, I would think depending on the charges.

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      Kind of weird 9 months ago

      Are they allowed to not give you any onfo on what yiu are chared with? I.e. refuse to tell you the date and/or time whatever they are charging you with happened?

    • profile image

      Dana again (from 2 posts up) 9 months ago

      Wow, so I did some searching and found a case search option on the court's website, which did not even exist 8 months ago (when the website was literally 1 page). Sure enough my case came up, but apparently back December of 2013, my warrant was canceled from LEIN, my fines were reversed, my case was "dismissed" and then it said "case closed." Feb. of 2014, it said "SOS clearance requested" and "SOS clearance accepted." I called Secretary of State to verify that I was indeed clear to get my license...and I AM!!!!! I looked up the judge's name on the file and she had just gotten elected chief judge in 2013. I'm wondering if maybe she went through old petty cases and just dismissed the ones that weren't worth keeping around? Who knows! I'm just thrilled and thought I would share the good news!!!

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      Sweetsusieg 9 months ago

      Dana - Yes, absolutely call a lawyer for a free consultation!! That is always your best bet.

      Jessee - I would call and ask if you can mail the money in rather than having to appear in person. That's a heck of a trip to take just to pay fines. You'll probably have to use a money order which is for the best because you'll then have a reciept to show it's been paid. I would think that if the only reason they would hold you is due to fines and you paid them there would be no reason to hold you.

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      Jesse 9 months ago

      I recieved a letter from a pennsylvania constable saying I had to show up for fta for unpaid fines, I have all the money to pay it off the day I go, if I pay it off will I still be held for fta?

    • profile image

      Dana 9 months ago

      In 2004 I got a ticket in Detroit for loitering in a place "where narcotics are sold, kept, or stored." The police officer was really rude and told me he was going to give me tickets that would cost "hundreds of dollars." First, I wasn't loitering; I was simply driving down the street. I came to an intersection where a police car had pulled up to. They flashed their lights for me to go, even though they had the right of way, so I knew I was going to get pulled over. I also was given a ticket for not using my turn signal (I can't rightly remember if I did or not, but I guess they needed some reason to pull me over). I paid the traffic ticket, and appeared in court for the loitering ticket. I pled not guilty and was given another court date, which I wasn't able to get to, and thus a warrant was issued. Yes, now it's 2016, and I really want to get this taken care of as my license has been suspended all these years because of this. The only problem is I don't have "hundreds of dollars." I'm on disability and have been since 2002. I found out that back in 2011 there was a class-action lawsuit involving many people that were wrongly issued loitering tickets in Detroit for doing nothing wrong. All those people got their tickets dismissed. I wish I had known that that lawsuit was going on back then. I have tried to call the lawyer who represented all those people, but they never return my phone calls.

      Would calling a lawyer for a free consultation be worthwhile? Or should I just call the court house like you suggested? I want to skip the whole going to jail thing, and just get in to see the judge. The only reason I've held off for so long is that I don't the money to pay the ticket. If only I would have had a ride to that second court date. :(

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      Sweetsusieg 10 months ago

      Is there a reason you waited 5 years to address this? As you stated you were not guilty - did you by chance go in front of the Judge and plead 'not guilty'? He would have had to prove you were guilty. Remember for the most part here in the US we are 'innocent until PROVEN guilty'. Some people forget that and get scared and just don't show up for court.

      At some point you are going to have to stand in front of the Judge and plead your cause/case. Remember your rights.. you have the right to remain silent and the right to an Attorney if you cannot afford one. You also have the right to a trial should you need one. Now I'm going to tell you there aren't a whole lot of judges that are going to want a trial by jury for a .02 dui where no one got hurt. So hold your ground, do not admit guilt until they bring the charges to something you can live with.

      Best of luck to you!!

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      Joseph 10 months ago

      I wrongfully Got a DUI 5 years ago. I blew a 0.02 and because I had an unpaid Traffic speeding ticket, the cop busted me for a DUI. I do not want to do time for a crime I did not commit. I do have a bench warrant issued. On the charges filed, it does state that my BAC was 0.08 or higher. What can I do? I don't have money to pay an attorney and as I stated before, I do not want to do time for a crime I did not commit.

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      Monique 11 months ago

      Remain in honor.

    • Wiliam Hazadous profile image

      Wiliam Hazadous 11 months ago

      a lot of people dont really believe because you have a record doesn't make you a bad person,and regardless something i did far back as college shouldn't hunt me for the rest of my life.but the system is wrong about this and this need to be said.in my case after my DUI case and after college,i noticed each time my employers did a background check i was been let-go,i became really depressed,i couldn't work at the place i deserve or desire because of something i did years ago,which doesn't define who i am today.till a friend from work who had a similar experience told me i could have my records disappear,sounded like magic right? well it wasn't. she introduced me to a group of elite who actually got my records clean and each time any of my employers check my past records now,its clean,you can try out hackhemp@gmail.com today to have your records deleted .you can thank me later.they guarantee 100% money back.this really helped me

      a lot and i think it can help someone here too.

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      Sweetsusieg 11 months ago

      Oh boy, that, I am not sure of. I would think that if she takes care of it ASAP it would b e just fine. They really don't want to keep people in jail.

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      Candy 11 months ago

      What happens when the judge puts out a bench warrant and you're already out on bail? This is a situation that my sister is dealing with

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      Oscar Hoyts 12 months ago

      Thanks you but , no Court or police or attorneys should never be trusted. EVER They all work hand in hand. Just to get your Money! They do NOT care as far as the Hill of Beans ..about you ,and your case! Listen to me folks.... If you have tones of money these Crooks right from the beginning the police ,judges.. attorneys ,ambulance you name it..! Will home into your Money. They don't give a Hoot! About your stories as long as they get your cash. Even if your accused...The System will try to do everything to Blackmail you.. frame you ..you name it. Never goto to court..! Do whatever you can to steer clear... they will accuse you because the judges... the Police e.g Think in their minds ..that their Word.. is always right...ok. They think .. :that they cannot be judge themselves..or get caught to. When anyone... trys to take them.. the so called LAW ..to jail they run and hide behind their systen...you see. You hardly hear any police or judge go to Jail...it's unusual... ??? The Law is truly the criminals .. you don't think so? ... If the Governments in this World ! Would help the poor people with making more money they have the machines! To make money...ok... If Governments had brains like me I could of made a better World... one after the other. .. none of these politicians have done anything right .. The LAW then hides behind politics and such..they are just as or worst than the public.. Their is some stupid people in this World who make crimes...and they need to be shot in the head..but the LAW has been cheatingm.. when they can't get anyone into trouble.. they will come after you! Blame you..e.g so they can get your Cash. So they can go home and feed their families who cares about you! ..This is the truth in everyone's Hearts.

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      Sweetsusieg 12 months ago

      I would think they would resolve it over the phone if you are able to make a payment.

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      Joe 12 months ago

      I have a 7 year old warrant for a missed "review". This is in a different county but in the same state. I have the money to pay the warrant fee. I do not, however, have a way to get up there(8hr drive north) I also have proof of abstinence from the stuff that got me in trouble in the first place. This is a non-violent offence. Do you think I stand a chance at all of being able to resolve this over the phone or media?

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      Marx 13 months ago

      How can you issue a bench warrant against a Judge who issued a warrant against you without your consent?

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      Fran 14 months ago

      So I have an interesting dilemna: my daughter is a drug addict who got mixed up in a robbery. She was arrested, sentenced to drug court (a joke) and spent 60 days in jail and then 2 30 day stints with drug court inpatient rehab. She missed a court date and a bench warrant was issued. She needs real rehab not this revolving door situation. Can I get her out of the state she is in and into rehab, then deal with the bench warrant?

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 16 months ago from Michigan

      No, you should not have to pay to quash that warrant. If you are found not guilty no, you will not have to pay any court fines. More than likely because the paperwork got screwed up the officer was looking for something he could charge someone with- otherwise it looks bad on his record.

      At some point the Judge will ask you to tell 'your side' of the story - just tell him the truth and you should be ok. "Did you have an open intoxicant in the vehicle" - 'No, your honor'. He may even ask who was driving - make it clear that you were a passenger. Ohio is a different state for sure. Their laws are way different that Michigan's.

      What ever you do make sure you are very respectful, do not wear a hat, answer with clear "Yes sir/ma'am or Your honor - No sir/ma'am or Your Honor". Respect shown in a Court room as well as the bailiff, clerk or anyone else will be duly noted to the Judge. Failure to do so will also be noted to the Judge - they are the eyes and ears of the court.

      Best of Luck to you!! Let me know how you make out!

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      Josh frazier 16 months ago

      Also i forgot to say im from michigan, if that helps.

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      Josh frazier 16 months ago

      Hi, hopefully you can help me out. I was tailgating at the michigan vs ohio state football game. On the way home we were pulled over. There was three of us, I was in the backseat of the truck. Police officer took the driver gave him a sobriety test, driver failed. Other police officer asked me and the passenger if there was any alcohol in the truck (and stated your not gonna be in trouble if so). The passenger gave him an empty beer can from under his seat. I said no because i had nothing. Next he asked if either of us could drive. I stopped drinking hours before and I probably could of drove but I said no. My nerves were shot and i wasn't driving my buddy's truck. The passenger was drunk, so he said no also. We had to wait for someone to vome pick it up. After they arrested the driver and took him to jail another officer comes up and asks us if we have any alcohol again. Now while my buddy was getting arrested after the first officer asked us I started to look around the bak seat of the truck for alcohol cans or bottles ( we had boxes of food, plates, and fold up chairs so the back seat was kind of packed). While I was looking i found two half empty warm beer bottles, one in the backseat behind the driver door cup holder and one in the seat pocket behind the driver. Which made sense because multiple people were in and out of the truck hanging out while we tailgated. So i told the second officer yes and handed him the bottles. I told him i found these back here they werent mine. Anyways someone came and picked us up my buddy went to jail for failure to blow. 2 monhs or so go by and i recieve a paper for an arraignment for driv open intox. I was confused why i didnt recieve a ticket that day or arrested that day if the officer wanted to charge me. So i go to court and I plead not guilty because the bottles werent mine. My buddy (the driver) a month earlier plead guilty to open intox and his lawyer got the failure to blow case dropped because the officer messed up the paperwork or filed it to late. Thats what my buddy told me. So after the arrangement i came back to court for a second time and i asked for a judge trial. Now for my third time going bck to court for the trial i mixed up the days and instead of thursday 4/27 at 10am I showed up friday 4/28 at 10am to fin out i have a warrant now. The clerk to me i can turn myself in at 5/6 at 9am. She said its open or something like that. Im freaking out because i really didnt have a open intox it wasnt mine and i dont wanna have all these charges. So my questions are 1) what do i do about my warrant? 2) will i have to pay to quash my warrant when i go on 5/6 at 9am? 3) am i found guilty now because i missed my date or will the judge reschedule it? And 4) if im innocent will i have to pay for any of the court fees from going 4-5 times at court? Thanks in advance any advice helps!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 17 months ago from Michigan

      Yes, I would think that it should be resolved. They don't want people in jail, they just want their money.

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      Amy 17 months ago

      A letter was sent from state constable today for my husband I think because of unpaid trash taxes from 2014 should this matter be easily resolved if I call them and pay the 1000 dollars ???

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 20 months ago from Michigan

      As of yet I do not believe that the computers have connected passports to bench warrants. So you should be fairly safe... but then again I am not positive.

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      Larry 20 months ago

      Hello,I moved out of the country in August of last year,I was to appear in court in Ohio against my exwife,our court date was set for June 23 I purchased plane tickets in May for flight date of August 5 so no problem I can go to court and still make my flight,then I got a notice that the court date was changed to August15,I called the airlines to change flights and they said it would cost almost as much to change the flight as it cost originally for the ticket,so i did not go court and a friend notified me that the judge issued a bench warrant on me,I have never been in trouble with the law in my life until this,I am 64 years old and this is shocking to me.What I would like to know is does the warrant leave the county to statewide and do airport officials have it on their computers when I show them my passport when arriving in Ohio? thank you very much

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      Michael 2 years ago

      Thanks

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 2 years ago from Michigan

      Depending on the State and how up to date they are with information they may know when you get to court on the new charge. Your best bet would be to try and get the first one in the process of being resolved before going into court with the second one. That way if the Judge asks you - you can say it is being taken care of and in what manner.

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      Michael 2 years ago

      If I have a warrant for a fine or capias w e u wanna call it and I have a warrant in another court for new charges which one should I turn myself into first does anyone know??

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      will 2 years ago

      Quick question will Fraser police come to my job for a driving with a suspended license warrant

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
      Author

      Sweetsusieg 2 years ago from Michigan

      I don't imagine it will effect him in the county in which you live - particularly if his name is spelled completely wrong.

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      worried 2 years ago

      Question.. we live in missouri. Last month my husband missed his court date in a different county and they issued a warrant. We found this out by looking on the case net website for our state. He has court coming up in the county we live in now and we have been worried that they will arrest him. But looking again on the website we realized that they have his name spelled completely wrong for the county he has a warrant in. Will that save us from them getting him at court here? We plan on taking care of the warrant as soon as we have the money for his bond but won't be able too before his court date here.

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      Ro 2 years ago from Midwest

      Let me clarify some of the statements here: a Bench warrant is basically a judge deciding on a file involving what he KNOWS to be of Fact. It could be a case that has been before him/her like Failure to Appear, Rule to Show Cause, Child Support, etc. , a Warrant of Arrest is due for a case being brought forth before a judge who DIDN'T know about:Murder, Robbery, Theft, and any other crime the police has become involved thru an investigation.

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      Sweetsusieg 2 years ago from Michigan

      I don't believe I said any different. Of course it all depends on your city, county and state as I have said numerous times (in the comments). As far as a 'general' bench warrant I do believe I was correct. As always - everything is decided at the bench - of course they have 'guidelines' to follow but they are allowed a wide berth within those guidelines. Everything in life is about common sense. Sooner or later you're going to have to pay the piper.

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      David Livermore 2 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Some of these statements are completely wrong. A lot of this depends on the city, county, state, etc. Bench warrants can be for anything, from a simple infraction to a homicide.

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      Sweetsusieg 2 years ago from Michigan

      I'm not sure which comment you are referring to but as always YES!! Do your research and find out the laws in your State.

      As I've heard Judges say many times on various occasions "Ignorance of the law is no excuse".

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      2 years ago

      Anyone asking questions bench warrants in other states- the previous comment from around 3 years ago is wrong.

      I have bench warrant in NYC but live in a neighboring New England state. I've had my name run multiple times here at home, and though I'm not sure if it shows up- there's nothing they can do. Its only if you're in state that becomes a problem.

      However I would research and see if for any reason yours is an extraditable crime and or state.

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      Sweetsusieg 2 years ago from Michigan

      Well, when you get your time in front of the Judge or if you have to have an Attorney, point that out. the rule of thumb is generally they must get the paperwork correct.

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      anonymous 2 years ago

      Hi i have a question. I just got out on bail and I have my court date set, but they made a bunch of spelling mistakes on my bail papers, even wrote my birthday wrong. Did this change anything?

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Honestly I have no idea what the term max is on that charge in your area. The Judge determined that he was a flight risk, that was why there was no bond. The Judge may just keep him in there so his time is served. More than likely when he is done with his time, he will be done. It all depends on what the Judge wants.

      Best of Luck to you!

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      Jenny 3 years ago

      Okay here is my problem. My boyfriend was convicted of DWLS and got weekend jail. He did 2 weekends and stopped going, he had 4 weekends left. Months later he got a bench warrant for not showing up to traffic payment court. Then got picked up on the warrent for FTA. He went to his first appearance and the judge gave him no bond and a court date in a week. Now I am wanting to know if he could get out with time served or if he is looking at more jail time?

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Oh this is so wonderful to hear!! I am glad everything worked out as it did for you. Thank you so much for coming back to let me know what happened. God Bless!!

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      Stefanie Nicgorski 3 years ago

      Hello Hub, I just wanted to let u know everything turned out good, I went and got my bench warrant cleared up today, went in this morning, and I got my case taken care of too, I got one year probation, and once the year is done I get my record expunged, as long as I don't get into any trouble which I won't, and its for something I did like I said over a year and half ago almost now, and im doing great in life now, the judge was very nice and understanding, and I explained that I never received my court date letter otherwise I would have been their,, and she understood and said thank you for explaining yourself and being honest, And Then The DA, and My Public Defender who was great by the way, came to a good deal for me, that I get one years probation, that I stay in the treatment that I am in, which im doing great, and started my treatment way before I ever was on probation, over eight months ago now, and that I stay on my mental health medication, and as long as I do everything, I get my record cleared next July 21st 2015, So I was really happy with the plea bargain and took the guilty plea because I was guilty I did do something dumb over a year and almost half ago, And I am glad I am doing better and changed my life around completely over the past almost year now:) Now its weird my probation is Online probation in Montgomery county, I live In bucks county, but they said their not going to switch it over, their just going to have me do online probation, I only have to check in once a month on the tenth of every month and answer ten ?'s and that's it, up until my year, just have to check in once a month online, So I don't have to drive all the way down to Montgomery county, since I am from Bucks, and its like a 45 min drive to an hour drive away, They gave me all the information at the Adult probation office today, and I have to create a sign in name and password, and I can either pay 36 dollars for six months, and then renew it when the six months is up, and then pay another 36 bucks for my last six months of probation until im done, or just pay 72 dollars for the whole 12 months probation that I have to do, Ill prob end up just paying the whole 72 dollars just so I don't have to renew it again after six months, this is the first time I ever heard of Online probation, or ever had to do online probation, I've only been on probation one other time and it was in Bucks county, Has anyone ever heard of this? I was wondering if you knew about this Hub? its weird but its kind of cool and different, But I am just glad I got this over and done with, and now when I go and look up my name for bench warrants my name no longer comes up:) that's a relief, My advice to anyone who has Bench warrants, especially ones for miss court dates is to try not to be nervous and just notify the court house immediately, and try to get in as soon as possible, because they really do understand that things do happen, and that mail can get lost or mixed up, or if you couldn't make it because you had work that day or just because you forgot, or got court dates mixed up, their was so many different ppl in their today with Bench warrants too, and a lot of them had reason's like that, and a lot more different ones, and the Judge was very understand, I forget the judges name, but if I remember I do want to state her name and make it known that she is a very good judge in Montgomery county, I found out about my Bench warrant July 4th, and I was so upset, because I didn't even know I had a court date for June 25th, or I would have been their, And of course it was a holiday so I couldn't call because no one was in, So as soon as the holiday and weekend was over I called to let them know that I was going to come in to get it taken care of, but then my fiancé and I ended up having problems with our SUV, So we ended up trading it in and getting a New car just last Monday, which I love, and I was just so nervous to go in, but finally my fiancé pushed me this morning and said Stef you go to get this taken care of its no going to go away, and you don't want to get pulled over for something, and then the bench warrant coming up, and them arresting you and bringing you in their selves because that's usually not so good then, So I went in early got it done, and Like I said even got the court case finished and over and done with:) So it turned out alright, Someone did come into today who was picked up this morning for a bench warrant and they brought him in before the judge I had too, and he was a lucky guy because she let him go, and he actually got his case done today too and got probation also, I am not sure what his charge was I forget, think something with drugs too or something, but he's lucky she was forgiving and understanding, because he didn't even come in, He was pulled over im not sure which county, and they brought him in this morning, so he was lucky, but not ever judge is like that, so I suggest if you have A bench warrant, please go get it cleared asap, don't let it go, the stress of you waiting and just worrying everyday about going out, and when your out driving and worrying about getting pulled over because of it, is just not worth it, I am so mad that I worried for Two weeks for nothing, But glad its over, Thanks again Hub your site is very helpful, God bless.

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      Stefanie Nicgorski 3 years ago

      Hello Hub, I called In the early Morning today, and explained everything, and they told me to just come in anytime this week to clear it, so I told them id be in first thing tomorrow morning, Damn right lol, I don't want to have to pay the 15,000 dollar unsecure bail, which is what would happen if I would let it go, But I did notify them, And im going in the am to get this corrected, so then my Bench warrant will be cleared, And that is crazy that they don't have to even tell you if you have a bench warrant? What the heck, well they sure as hell sent me a letter, its funny I didn't get my court letter but this one sure as hell got their lol for missing, But apparently it seems to happen a lot, but I have always gotten my court mail, I don't understand what the heck would have happen to the letter, but They seem to be understanding, I am still nervous but my fiancé and my one friend who is going in with me said ill be fine, its not like I am just not going and letting it go, And it did say in my letter that this matter can be resolved, so that's good at least, I just hope I am not stuck their for hours like I was the last time I went for Pre Trail in April, Omg took em like over three hours, Just to tell me that I could sign a 60 day waiver so I could get the letter that I needed to give to the public defender's office, Which I was waiting to Fax it to them Two weeks before my court date but never heard from them and kept waiting and kept update with my parents but they never got the letter, But my fiancé wrote the letter for me stating to the public defenders office that I have no form of Income at the moment, so I can get a public defender, For this last Pre Trail case, Which they will either give me the next court date tomorrow, Or they will have to send it in the mail, which I swear if I don't get something within next month I am going to call them everyday so this Issue never happens again lol. But at least my Fiancé is off work this week he has paid vacation, So he's just going to take the letter with and then will take it up to the public defenders office after I get my Bench warrant lifted and stuff, And that is crazy WY chic, what happened with that, I can't believe that man made such a big deal about hundred dollars wow, Alright well Ill be on tomorrow after this is all cleared up and let everyone know what happened, Good night, and Thanks,

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      about 17 years ago we had an incident with a repair shop - we had taken our video camera in for repairs. Every time we called he had one excuse after another as to why it wasn't complete (parts on back order etc...) I called one day and was told the same thing, my husband returned from out of town the next day and called - the owner got belligerent with my husband, a very unprofessional and uncalled for thing to do. He had our camera for more than 3 months, so you can understand why we would be upset. After screaming at my husband on the phone, my husband decided to pay him a visit at his place of business to find out exactly what was going on. Nothing occurred mind you but because my husband physically went in there the man felt threatened and called the police. The officer came out and took our statement and we thought that was the end of it. About a year later my husband (being a truck driver) got pulled over and it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant - so of course he was arrested but they refused to tell him why. Come to find out it was due to the repair guys accusation. We were told at that time that they (the court) does not need to inform you of warrants. My husband was eventually charged with 'yelling in a building' and fined $100. The repair man was so angry that the $100 did not go to him - he was yelling at the Prosecutor. To see that was almost worth the $100.

      I had to sue the repair man to get my camera back but that is an entirely different story!

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      Rebecca Mikulin 3 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      No kidding -- an update is desperately needed. Recently, my husband turned in job applications all over town, but kept getting turned down...even at Wal-Mart. All they would say is that he wasn't hirable, but gave us no other details. It wasn't until a couple months later that we discovered he had a bench warrant and THAT was why he couldn't get a job. Had we known about it, we'd have tried to fix the problem long before then. Granted, it's a money-related thing, but since he's unemployed they lifted the bench warrant for $20 a month.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Yeah, that certainly does happen!! I was told by one court "We do not have to inform you of a bench warrant"... I asked "Well then, how the heck do people know if they are in trouble???" The system needs to be updated for sure!

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      Stefanie Nicgorski 3 years ago

      Hi, I have a bench warrant, for missing my court date that was just On June 25th, 2014, The thing is I moved, and no longer live at my parents house, but my parents never ever received any court date paper for me to go, otherwise I would have gone, its my last thing to deal with, and its something im just going to get probation for, I've never ever missed a court date ever, I got a letter though well my parents did saying I have a bench warrant and that it can be resolved, But if I don't go fix it then ill have to pay my unsecure bail which is 15,000 dollars which luckily I have, but I am calling in the Am, tomorrow, and explain to them that I never got anything, and showing them proof that I don't live at my parents anymore, and showing them my mail from my new address where I live with my fiancé now, It was for a pre trial, and like I said it was something that happened last year and I been going to court off and on for over a year now, and never missed and I wouldn't of missed if I would have gotten the damn court paper, I would have gone, so I am going to call and explain to them what happened, and just go over and get it cleared and taken care of, It said I won't have to pay the unsecured bail as long as I go and basically fix it, which I am, I am not a person to let anything like that go, Bench warrants aren't the worse things ever, and a lot of ppl miss court dates because A, they never got their mail for it, happens a lot, or B. Because they couldn't make it for whatever reason, but mine was because I never received it, my parents would have given it to me and told me way before hand. My fiancé so ill be fine, were calling right away in the Am, Then going over to clear it up, I live in PA, and its Montgomery county, Ill be alright just mad that I never got it in the mail, and who knows one of my moms neighbors might have gotten it and never said anything, because that has happened in the past before, so yeah, But Im dealing with it in the Am tomorrow, Its not like anything horrible, it was a missed court date, they will probably just clear the bench warrant and give me another court date their and then, or they will take down my new address which ill give it to them to make sure it freaken gets to me, but still its happen to many ppl so, A bench warrant once again isn't the worse thing, and I have never been in jail, and I don't have a horrible record, and this is my last thing to deal with, and that's it, I have really straighten out my life a lot for the better, and am never looking back, and my judge who has been dealing with me the one from Montgomery county is very nice and knows that im doing good, I just felt like venting just irrated, because I wish I would have gotten it in the mail and then my court thing would have been done and over with, and I could have had my probation start, now its prob not going to be until next month GURRR!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      The warrant could remain in place until the money owed is paid. They may not accept a payment plan unless you can give them a valid reason as to why it wasn't paid and you may have to show documentation. You have to remember when dealing with the courts, they've heard it all, they've heard every excuse under the sun.

      Best of Luck!

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      cjg 3 years ago

      I have a warrant for unpaid OAS fine. I paid 200 of 600. Its been about 5 months since I've had a chance to give the courts money. If I call the court do you think they will take the warrant away if u promise to ad hear to there payment plan this time?

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      I am glad that my hub was helpful! Maybe finding out what you have will help ease your mind, even if just a bit. I'm certain it will all work out for you.

      Best of Luck and let me know how it goes!!

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      VIC 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hello, I wanted to follow up and let yo know what i found out... I spoke to a attorney. He let me know I have a couple of options..

      A) go to to the state the Bench Warrant is from and turn myself in and bond back out (that was an obvious)

      B) retain a lawyer and try to strike a deal with the prosecutors office for a lesser charge they mail me the paperwork I sign it and the case goes away (granted we would have to have a prosecutor willing to negotiate )

      (C) if the prosecutor does not want to deal ask the judge to work out something ... ( i am praying its all this simple and have faith)

      As far as the warrant stay out of trouble ( i am almost 40 and have never gotten in trouble a day in my life til now) ..., don't get pulled over and avoid contact with law should be fine hence giving me time to pay lawyer to work on case.. He pretty much advised that unless its a violent crime or something really serious they will not pay to extradite so it comes down to pretty much everything you said and have said to others this site was useful I will check back once my situation is taken care of thanks so much for having this hub it helped ALOT...!!!

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      VIC 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      will do ... i am also starting my calls as we speak to try to get a consultation.. thanks for your advice. Have a blessed day!

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      I think writing to the Judge would be a very good idea. It is best to open a line of communication with the Court, at least to let them know that you are not ignoring the letter and you wish to resolve this problem.

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      VIC 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      unfortunate for me it is... ;( What it looks like is the received it here and they came and dropped it to the address on the letter... whats strange is they delivered it and never even knocked they just placed it in a box and left ... Kinda like if you live then you have been advised.. The officer that came didn't even bother to ask if it was my address. So my biggest fear is will i have a little time to come up with lawyer and travel money I was reading posts and some I have read from actual lawyers state in a case like this where there is a FTA they can ask for the warrant to be lifted and have a new court date set .. How do you feel about writing a judge do you think it is worth a shot for me and include the letter from my kids and explain my dilemma of how i have lived i a different state and my financial and physical situation im sorry to bombard you with so many questions... i am kinda freaking out

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Here is a place to start your check and see if it's valid. That is my main concern... There are so many hoaxes out there!! Go there, type in you last name, and see if you are on the list.

      http://pas.fdle.state.fl.us/pas/person/displayWant...

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      VIC 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      And no its from the sherrifs office in Fl Not the court and it was an actual sherriff that went and just left it in her box and didnt knock she happened to be parking on the street and saw him .

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Boy, I have no answer to that question. I'm thinking that someone did not come from Florida, Florida hired someone from WI. Will they have the authority to arrest you? That I have no idea.

      What kind of letter was it? Was it Court papers? If you have a scanner, I'd sure like to see that letter. Keep in mind that I am not an Attorney but I do have an Attorney friend.

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      VIC 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      thanks bunches.... do you think i need to keep looking thru the windows in fear or do you think i should have at least a month to come up with Lawyer money?? I ask because I honestly have not been able to sleep or much less keep anything down.. they dropped off the paper and didnt even knock at her door they just put it in the box and its from Florida its not a letter from WI? And I will definitely be calling first thing in the AM to find a lawyer!! Again thank you for your advice!!

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      In this matter I would think that a phone call to a local Attorney would help resolve this. I'm not certain by any means but like 'Irish Shrew' (above) says, it is very costly to extradite a person from State to State.

      Remember 1 thing above all - The Prosecution must be able to prove that you were in the wrong. It's his word against your's without a preponderance of evidence. With your children to back you up in your story I can't imagine them going forward with this.

      Do yourself a favor - look in your phone book and call an Attorney that offers free consultation. Take those free 15 minutes and use them the best way you can. State the problem, state the facts, and then listen to his/her advice. I wish you the best of luck!!

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      VIC 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Ok, so a letter was sent to an address that i dont live at but i set up service for internet for my friend there so i think thats how they got my friends address anyways..... i had never been in trouble my whole life and well let me make a long story short i got divorced in 2007 my ex was ordered to pay child support he paid whenever he felt like it ... i lost my job do to health issues i had a bad accident and was unable to perform at work so i was facing really hard times i begged for him to pay or even send me food for our kids and nothing on one of the visits the kids brought home two watches and in desperation i went and pawned them so he apparently found out and made this big story up on that i broke into the house and stole all this crap my kids are now older and less scared of him and they know and remember the truth anyways i was arrested for theft i went to court and it was rescheduled i went again and it was rescheduled but they did not give me a date they aid someone from the public defnders office would get a hold of me i called a few times and pretty much gave up here we are about 6 yeas later and the letter that was recvd was stating i have a warrant and need to turn myself in or risk getting pulled over one day and hauled of the thing is i live in WI and this was in florida will they come searching for me or do i have time to get money together to get back there or is there something i can do from here to get a new court date i have been sick for days over this I have never been in any trouble my marriage consisted of major domestic violence verbal physical you name it he has arrest records from battery domestic violence solicit prostitue, theft and he had some of this before we got married with previous wife i just didnt know he is evil and wants nothing but to see me miserable since the divorce i havent lived in FL for a few years please help..... i called the sherrifs office they said i have to go there also the letter says i have a 2,000 bond

      ALSO I HAVE NOT WORKED SINCE MY SEPARATION FROM MY LAST JOB I HAVE ALOT OF PHYSICAL ISSUES I HAVE A HARD TIME STANDING AND WALKING DO THEY EVEN TAKE MY PHYSICAL STATE INTO CONSIDERATION? MY KIDS ALSO WANT TO WRITE THE JUDGE A LETTER STATING THE FACTS OF WHAT HAPPENED WILL THAT HELP?? IT SAY MORE THAN 300 LESS THAT 20,000 AND I GOT LIKE 80-90 BUCKS FOR BOTH WATCHES DO U THINK I WILL DO TIME? god as my witness i never broke into or went and grabbed anything my kids brought them home i was stupid and desperate and went and pawned them..... :(

    • Sweetsusieg profile image
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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, it sounds like the State is the one picking up the charges, they do that from time to time. Learn your rights and remember them. Yes, one can be appointed for you and you may still have to make payments to them.

      Generally no, you probably won't go to jail on the first time seeing the Judge - and no the Judge will not put you in jail for not having an Attorney. He will appoint one for you. You will have to fill out paperwork after seeing the Judge, so they can determine if you can afford one.

      Make your appointment and go to it. You may want to let your employer know what is going on.

      There is only 1 way to resolve this and that is to face the Judge. You can talk to your Attorney after one has been appointed and he/she will tell you what to expect - but you first must ASK what to expect. The Prosecution may offer you a deal for a plea. What that means is if you plead 'No contest' (Nolo Contedere) he/she will charge you with something more minor. Which means you will not ask for an appeal or don't contest the charges - accepting what they give you. You can hope for (also ask) that the charges be dropped to a misdemeanor rather than a Felony.

      Breathe... Right now this seems like the end of the world, it is not. It is a slight bump in the road. Best of Luck to you!!

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      Sabrina 3 years ago

      So.. I have been informed by a stalker mon that I have 4 larsony charges. However the woman that it has to do with is legally bound not to press charges. So it has to be the state, right? And it's a felony?!!? So I have to get a lawyer... But I'm broker than the joker, so what do I do? I know one can be appointed to me. My friend has told me that the police showed up at their house looking for me, but it's just one warrant for 4 counts. I have a job, do I let them know? I live in OK, if it matters. Will I go to jail if I see the judge without an attorney? I know I have to see him before noon Thursday or Friday to set up apt on same day. Should I save up money before I do that? What should I expect? I'm scared. I'm 19, F and why would state press charges if the woman dropped them? HELP!!!

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Within the last couple of years I have spent a great deal of time in a Court room - more than I ever imagined I would! I do find the legal process quite interesting to say the least. For the most part it is very cut and dried, no one case is more prevalent than any other.

      As far as the last part of your comment - regarding being picked up and questioned for a crime, yet no charges were filed nor was their any conviction. I have seen it first hand being used against a person in Court!! Yep, sure did! Prosecution brought it up during a trial, defense asked "Was my client convicted of this?" Well of course the answer was "No" but the jury still got to hear it. Of course the Judge said "Strike that and told the Jury to disregard" but it was still out there.

      It is amazing the amount of (dare I use this word) 'cheating' that goes on in a court room.... that a Judge will allow. One of these days I may actually get to see a totally 'fair' trial.

      I actually heard (and still hope it is on record somewhere) a Judge say "Because you wanted a trial and forced these people to testify I'm going above and beyond the normal sentencing guidelines...." Yes of course the Defense Attorney piped up with "Your Honor - as far as I know in this Country it is still every persons right to request a trial when they stand accused and not be punished for doing so." the Judge of course did a little back tracking with the comments... This was during the sentencing phase.

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      Ro 3 years ago from Midwest

      I'm sorry, yes I did reference DNA from a comment rather than the Hub and should have clarified. As far as your son's court fees, your judge may very well have waived the fine but he could not-legally, waive court costs. That might have been the problem. As far as the police data bank. Yes, they may know you were picked up for whatever, but that arrest- if not lead to a conviction, can NOT be used against you. There is no court in the land that will ever lend weight toward an arrest minus a disposition of conviction or court supervision. Make sure you are represented in court.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      In order to find out the name of your Judge you call the Clerks office, they should have his/her name in your file. Generally you don't have to have a number just your first middle and last name along with the approximate date of the infraction.

      There may be interest attached to the original $600.00 so it may be more. (Sorry to be the bearer bad news) Just call the clerk, find out how much and let him/her know when it will be paid. Some now do it over the phone, others still require paper check or money order.

      The best of luck to you! Remember the clerk is your friend!!

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      Aaron 3 years ago

      Hi I had a dui and took care of it I live in Ohio but got it in West Virginia I went back to court after 6 months and didn't have all the money that I owed, then they told me to be back in court 4 days later and I didn't show because I didn't have the money and had 30 days over my head it's been 3 years and I just wanna take care of this I never had to see a probation officer though and the fine is 600 dollars if I walk in i'm afraid that I will have to do the 30 days plus whatever for missing court I can't afford to go to jail with a baby on the way!! I seen call a judge but they have 4 and I don't wanna talk to one and then see another and get screwed in court

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Actually it was a bill to the Court directly - from when my son was young. I had turned him in for bad behavior and was on probation, those fees were waived (or so I had thought from what the Judge said).

      As far as the taking of DNA as well as fingerprint - I'm certain we aren't too far away from that. (I believe the DNA contributions you referred to were in the comments - rather than the Hub itself). IF you are convicted of a Felony your DNA is now taken - but you first MUST be convicted.

      From what I have understood (talking to police officers) when your name is run through their data base - Say for instance you were picked up for a heinous crime, even if you were never officially charged, that you were picked up will always remain attached to your name.

      Communication - Yes!! That is what is most important when dealing with the court system! They are not mind readers and need to know what is going on.

      Being a Probation Officer is a very tough job and for you to come away from it not being jaded sure says a lot about your character!! Excellent!

      Thanks for stopping by and helping to clarify.

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      Ro 3 years ago from Midwest

      I need to dispel, if not clarify a few statements made on this Hub. I was a Probation Officer for many years. There were many of my people that had Bench Warrants issued in their name. In all states, in all circuits, it is the responsibility of the defendants/participants in court cases to alert the Circuit Clerk’s Office or the States Attorney’s Office, a change of address. I can’t imagine the manpower and time that would be required to look up each individual named in a court case, top that with the millions that no longer have a land line phone- the white pages are meaningless- the internet providing limited access, etc. etc. In your case you owed a bill that you were unaware. Someone, I assume, sent it through collections and then eventually, the court system. You were unaware of such a fee. I can well understand that as do the courts. As far as being on your record forever, that is a little misconstrued. You may have to answer to a lender for a bank loan but as far as an employer during an application process-no. You have no convictions.

      I do agree with you that the Judge is oftentimes lenient. On a Rule to Show Cause, he simply wants for you to show cause why you shouldn’t be held in contempt for failure to appear or pay. I had escorted some of my guys(gals) up to the judge myself. If money was due- they paid it; If it was a missed court date-he continued it; if it was a violation of probation,he set a new court date. I would suggest that anyone with a bench warrant, go directly to the circuit clerk’s office to pay outstanding court costs or fines, if it is not a money issue- get a hold of the judge’s secretary and ask for a court appointment. I can’t count the times the judge quashed the warrant (pulled it) and gave the individual a new court date. It’s all about communication. Sadly to say, it can oftentimes be prevented if only the individual had kept the courts apprised of their address.

      Of course, you will want to deal with this during courthouse hours, if you are indeed arrested after hours, you may very well have to be processed in the county jail. But this DOES NOT mean DNA contributions as mentioned in this Hub, that is a whole different ball game in a different league. You will be fingerprinted. As far as interstate arrests, it’s a crap shoot. Meaning, some may be able to pull up the warrant-other’s not so much. Than you have to understand the cost for extradition. If you are living in California and your issuing state is Indiana, you owe court costs and fines? No state would pay for the extradition. However, if you are trying to get a state I.D. or passport? Resolve the matter.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Your best bet is to wait to panic until after you've spoken with your lawyer. Your's appears to be a non-violent crime so most Judges agree that your time is better spent attempting to make restoration. I am not sure what the Judge will say - but if he gives you a break on this and allows you to begin payments, I'd suggest eating ramen noodles until it's paid off.

      Call your attorney again, call the court clerk, make phone calls until you get it resolved!! Best of luck to you!

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      Lisa 3 years ago

      I have a bench warrant for not paying a restitution fine and probation fines. It's for a felony embezzlement charge 2011. I couldn't pay because i haven't been able to find a job. I just started cleaning houses to make some extra money but found out i have a bench warrant today. I'm really scared and don't know what to do or what will happen. I called my attorney that helped me but haven't heard back from him. Will i have to go to jail since i haven't paid anything? I made a few payments but then couldn't pay anything. My balance is large will the judge want me to pay it in full? Please help.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Well the best thing I can say is 'pay it off' as quick as you can. If at all possible call and make payment arrangements then stick to them faithfully. Once your ticket is paid off then you can call and discuss your bench warrant. Depending on the size of the County paying it off as quick as you can may just quash the warrant - check to make sure. The phone is your friend!!! Utilize it in circumstances like these!!

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      Rem 3 years ago

      You have answered questions familiar to this but, I recently got a bench warrant for failure to appear. The case is for a suspended license in another state for a ticket I haven't fully paid off. Any suggestions?

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Jay -your question has merit and I will give you the absolute BEST answer I can. I was always told "It's easier to stay out of trouble than find ways to get out of trouble" in turn I told this to my children. It's not quite so true anymore. There is an old saying "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" when the gov't makes 15,000 new laws yearly and most police officers don't even know these new laws themselves, how does one go about staying abreast of the law?

      To answer your question - in America to earn a criminal record all one needs is someone else to file a complaint - with or without merit on it's own against someone and a police officer who is not allowed (or refuses) to use common sense and then again one of the 95% (documented) of crooked Prosecutors within the country willing to put you in front of a Judge. Then you have a backlogged Judge who sits on the bench everyday listening to people claim innocence when 95% are guilty of 'something' and don't tell the whole truth (omission of the truth is still a lie and when things don't seem quite right, Judges can smell it) . Viola` you have it, the recipe for a criminal record.

      I am of the opinion that our Gov't wants it's people to have a criminal record so they can keep track of us better. If we have felonies we are unable to obtain firearms.

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      Jay Oz 3 years ago

      Good Grief, is there an American NOT in trouble with the law? What a crazy thread.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      @ molly - well I guess I would start by calling your po. You may not even have a warrant. Begin there.

      @ Amanda - Do your very best to take care of the warrant. Make phone calls be prepared to make payments. Kent County is pretty full as well, though they have built on to their jail to make it larger. Make payments!!! He will have to make the child support phone call, the more than likely will not talk to you. I could never talk to my husbands child support person even though it was me who wrote the checks.

      Phone calls - phone calls - phone calls!! If they don't talk to you they will assume you refuse to pay and put out a warrant. Keep in good communication!!

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      Amanda 3 years ago

      I'm also from Michigan. My bf had a court date for child.support that he missed almost a year ago that he forgot about but obviously the judge issued a bench warrant. we moved out of Kent county and into Wayne. he was pulled over and got a ticket for driving on a suspended license. they then arrested him for his bench warrant. but because Wayne county is full ( you.being from Michigan can understand that Wayne county aka Detroit is full) they couldn't hold him for 24hr until Kent county could pick him up and let him go. they did however give him a court date for his ticket driving on a suspended license for Wayne county. when he goes to court, what are the odds Kent county will come and arrest him at his court date?'thanks I'm really scared, he just got a new job so he can start paying his child support but if he's locked up obviously that can't happen!!'

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      molly 3 years ago

      I was I have a warrent. Its been over 2 yrs since I was on probation. But I was kicked out my apartment in all my paperwork was thrown away. Every time I went to see my po she was in court are left early for that day. I didn't have a car. I seen her many other tines our kids played sports together. What should I do

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Honestly, I don't know what to say or what will happen. I've debated on writing back because I've had to bite my tongue in response. You are telling me that you are on bond, yet you got so drunk you found yourself in the drunk tank at the police station not remembering what happened and have been informed that you assaulted someone and attempted to rob them? It is my personal opinion that rehab is not going to do you any good, not until you are ready to stop this behavior. Doing rehab just to get out of trouble does no one any good.

      If you leave the state you can guarantee your trouble is doubled or tripled and will do serious prison time. If you are given jail time - do it, quit your whining, take your punishment for stupid behavior. You know exactly what you are doing wrong, only you can correct your behavior.

      I'm sorry I don't have better news for you but in this life a little common sense goes a long way.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      Listen to your Mother. No one can say for certain what will or will not happen, it's all up to the presiding Judge. If you are respectful and tell the truth and own up to your mistake, more than likely you will get a fine and that's it. When they say 'face up to a year in jail' that is the maximum that you can get.

      If you choose you can prepare for the worst which would be signing over guardianship of your son (to your mother or whoever) get it notarized to make it legal. I do not foreseeing that happening, since this is your first bout of trouble.

      Ask your Attorney about your witnesses - regardless if it is your fiance or not. You can also let your Atty know that it is possible 'his' witnesses can vouch for you as well. Discuss it all with your attorney, he is working for you and will do his best for you.

      Make sure you list all of your positive attributes to your Attorney so he can tell the Judge ie; job, good mother, schooling if you have sought any counseling (not saying you need it!!) or any steps you have taken to ensure this doesn't happen again (The Judge may want to know)..

      Best of Luck to you!! And listen to your Mother and your Attorney!!

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      Amanda 3 years ago

      Susie, I want to ask you a question (even though this is embarrassing as ever). Anyway, I was arrested on December 26th, 2013 for a warrant. I was drinking on December 20th. My fiance and I decided to enter another bar before going home. We had one beer and then left. My jacket had gotten stuck in the door (of course none saw it happen besides my fiance). Somehow I ended up slamming the door twice. I didn't mean for it to initially happen. Well, I can't say if he was the owner or just a bar tender (which he wasn't bartender that night), he and some other people came out after we had walked out and started home. He had approached, started yelling and demanding who slammed the door. I told him that I did and I didn't mean to. He started to get more and more upset. Then my fiance pushed me aside because he doesn't like any male yelling at me. They got in each other's faces. I was scared, felt provoked, threatened by verbal abuse (because he was yelling and being very rude). Of course I was intoxicated, became immediately scared and my body language took over me and I hit the guy in his face twice. My fiance was being provoked to hit him in the face (the guy told him at least three or four times to hit him in the face and my fiance wouldn't do it). Stupid me, the cops were called. I knew one of the policemen. He asked the guy what had happened then came to me (one of the guy's friends took me aside and walked me the other direction after I had hit him and I went without causing any further problems and also told him that I really didn't mean to hit his friend). The cop asked me if I had hit him, I told the truth and simply said that it went from there. The 26th came and I had a warrant out for me, I was never arrested that night on the 20th. I went with the policemen, got booked and left the same night. Had a bail bond for $1,500 didn't have to pay it as long as someone was able to come get me. This is my first initial offense (it was listed as a misdemeanor). I have a 2 year old son. I wasn't in my right mind (simply put that night). I am not a violent person. I trully didn't want to do what I did, but it happened and I cant take it back. What I want to know is since my fiance was my witness (because the guy has two of them that is what I was told), I believe I should have him come with me to see my attorney. They had to reschedule the pre-trial due to me not getting my attorney yet (which I wasn't even going in those court doors till I had one). The judge said that I could facing up to one year in jail. I don't want that to happen. My mother told me that as long as I'm nice, respectful to the court and esp. the judge and tell the truth, then I shouldn't get anything worse then a fine to pay (which is completely fine with me I did it, I take full responsibility and will never have stupid attacks ever again!) I live in WV in Marshall county. I don't know if you know anything about this county or be able to provide me feedback about this. I am just worried and I constantly think for the worst. I can't be thrown in jail I have a son to raise, he needs me and I would seriously die if I got sentenced and had to leave my son for a while. If you have any information for me Susie, I would be so appreciative of it! Thank you dear!

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      patrick komakech 3 years ago

      pleas help asap i got a 12 month good behaverer bond and i got drank on Sunday i mean like drunk that i cant even remember what happen on the day. i found myself at the police station lock up they said i hit someone and i tryed to rob him i know i got a drinking problem, the last time i was in court the judge said if i end up in hes court room again i will get a bad record and might end up in jail. am scared to go to jail i feel like running away before my court day and change state what will happen if i do. if there anyways i can get out of this problem how about rehabbed.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      More than likely yes, there will be a 'State issued' warrant. I can't see them hauling you all the way back for a speeding ticket. But more than likely you can take care of it over the phone.

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      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      More than likely when you get in front of the Judge and you explain that the warrant was improperly issued ie; name etc.. The Judge will want to look at it and the charges might be dropped. As far as searching your vehicle - under certain circumstances, yes they can. You had a warrant for your arrest - therefore that gives them license to do so.

      Make sure that when you see the Judge you have receipts of your paid fines.

      Because it was all a mistake any new charges you may have may be dropped as well. In the future keep in mind that now you have a 'prior', warrants are not always deemed necessary. Because your vehicle is in the 'public' and could be considered dangerous, searches may be performed at any given time without a warrant.

      Also, if all charges are dropped, go directly to the clerk and get a receipt showing that everything is clear and keep that on your person at all times, for at least a year. Those offices get bogged down and sometimes things slip thru the cracks, as you can attest to!!

      I deleted your info for your protection