If a traffic ticket turned into a warrant will I be arrested on the spot if I go to the court house? 13 Answers as of May 21, 2013

I was cited with a fix it ticket for not having a front license plate on my car and after, unfortunately, forgetting about it, I received a letter informing me that I now have a warrant. There was a bail amount set for $660 and told to see a judge. If I go to the courthouse will I a) be arrested on the spot? b) can I have this expunged? c) What sort of criminal offense is this? d) Will a bench warrant show up on a background check? Thank you very much for your help.

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Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
Not necessarily so, but if you don't surrender, you probably will be arrested.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 11/1/2012
Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/21/2013
Law Office of Mark Bruce
Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
Most likely you will be given a chance to deal with the fix it ticket. The court probably said you had a failure to appear, which can be a misdemeanor, but most judges are willing to dismiss those if you show up to deal with the ticket.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/29/2012
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You have a traffic citation for the plate, and a bench warrant for your failure to appear. You will be arrested as soon as you appear at the courthouse. Bench warrant is not a criminal offense. A bench warrant will show up as a failure to appear in court. You cannot have bench warrant expunged.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 10/28/2012
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
You have to answer it. It won't go away. If you posted that $660 bail and failed to show, you've probably lost that bail. If it's just a vehicle and traffic offense, it's not a crime. My advice is to go to court with an attorney at a time when court is in session. Chances are you can take care of that matter right then and there.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/28/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    It's safer to have an attorney go to court without you to recall the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Most judges withdraw a bench warrant after you make an appearance in court, and then allow you to pay your fine. If the judge withdraws the warrant, then you won't have any criminal history. If you're worried, you can hire an attorney to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/28/2012
    Law Office of Edmund P. Allen Jr. | Edmund P. Allen Jr.
    Generally, you will not be arrested in the court house for small bail warrants. Procedures vary from court to court, but they can usually quash your warrant at the counter and give you a new court date, or have you go before the judge to ask that the warrant be quashed and a new date set. If the underlying charge required your personal appearance in court, then it was actually some misdemeanor criminal charge. For civil traffic infractions, they usually do not issue warrants if you do not respond. Instead they give you the full fine, send it to collections, and your driver's license will eventually get suspended until you deal with it. Have a good weekend.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/27/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Usually if there is a warrant for this type of offense you would be able to post bail and not be arrested. Once you get the bail taken care of you will be given a new court date that you must appear at and either pay or negotiate some type of resolution with the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/26/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes, when you don't appear they add a charge of Failure to Appear (FTA). Best bet is to hire a lawyer and fight both charges.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/26/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    Most likely not. Get the warrant up to the Judge that issued the warrant and work it out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/26/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You should be able to pay the ticket and have it end. You shouldn't be arrested if you go to court and let the judge know that you will pay the ticket. It should only show up as a citation and a FTA. Make sure you don't have any drugs or weapons on you when you go to court just in case the judge gets a wild hair and books you. That is unlikely but better safe than sorry.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/26/2012
    Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
    The best thing to do would be to appear at the Court and resolve this issue. It is likely that you can post a bond (less than the specified amount) and then get a court date. From your question, it sounds as if you can resolve this ticket easily by fixing the problem. Many courts will actually dismiss this ticket upon proof of correction. While a bench warrant will show up on any check, it will be removed once it is resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/26/2012
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