What do I do if I recently found out that I have an open warrant? 55 Answers as of February 24, 2012

I recently found that I have an open warrant, through a background check. I now remember why. I was very sick for a long time and there is a bit of memory loss. I need to take care of this ASAP. What do I need to do?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You can go to the court to vacate the warrant.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/24/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Contact counsel to get you back before the court to explain the absence. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/24/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
You can try going to the clerk of the court where the warrant is being held and see if you can be put on add-on docket. You can file a motion to have the warrant set aside and have the pending matter set for trial or disposition, The last option is to turn yourself into the docket room of the local jail in the county where the warrant exists and be booked on the failure to appear.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/23/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
You should hire a criminal defense attorney in your area. Your attorney will be able to request information on the warrant and may be able to negotiate to have it removed in return for you agreeing to appear in court. Your attorney will also be able to advise you as to whether or not it is advisable to appear in court based on the specific details of your case.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 5/23/2011
Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC
Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC | Justin Blaine Jones
You should first contact an attorney and describe to them the specific details surrounding the warrant. You should be aware that you are subject to arrest at any time that law enforcement becomes aware of your identity. For example, if you are stopped for speeding the officer will be alerted that you have an outstanding warrant and will arrest you. It may be beneficial to turn yourself in on your own time, rather than be arrested when you least expect it and are unprepared. In any event you should contact an attorney to discuss the situation confidentially.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should retain an experienced criminal lawyer in your area to contact the police and the court in order to arrange a surrender. This will reduce the chance that the court will set a high bail and provide an opportunity for your attorney to dispose of the charges with a reduced plea on the date you surrender. He may also be able to have the charges dismissed if the prosecutor did not use "due diligence" to bring you back to court on the bench warrant issued by the judge. After a few years most cases are simply dismissed when you surrender because the prosecutor is over the 30.30 time limit to bring the case to trial. If you were out on bail you can be charged with bail jumping and if you are arrested again count on a high bail due to your failure to appear on this case. Feel free to call anytime for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    It would be in your best interests to contact an attorney to help you resolve an open warrant. There may be ways to submit to the warrant and not be placed in custody depending upon the jurisdiction of the warrant. An attorney can intercede on your behalf before the judge and get a bond condition which may be beneficial to you when you turn yourself in on the warrant. The attorney can also help in resolving the original issue you are charged with.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    You can go to the court clerks office and have your case put on calendar to clear the warrant. However, if you can afford it, hire a lawyer. It might be possible for the attorney to make the appearance for you. Another advantage is that your attorney could put the matter on calendar at your convenience. If you attempt to put it on the calendar yourself, you are limited to the same day. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    It is extremely important to take care of warrants as soon as possible. If you don't you could be arrested at any time.Most Court Clerks Offices have a method for you to put the case back on the court calender without you going into custody. you can ask at their office during normal working hours. To inquire about fees to hire a lawyer to do that or to get more info call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    If you have an active warrant, in a majority of situations, the only thing you can really do is attempt to turn yourself in. The court that issued the warrant should have information about what it relates to. Active warrants generally do not expire. I would advise contacting an attorney to assist you with this matter. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. A few phone calls may save you some considerable time and effort. Speaking in general terms, in some limited circumstances, you may be able to negotiate some type of solution and resolve the issue without turning yourself in; however, it will take significant work in to do that. It all depends on the particular circumstances. Active warrants do not generally expire; however, with really old warrants, they are occasionally dismissed by the prosecutor to clean up the docket. In some situations, a person may be able to get rid of an active warrant by simply paying some fines and costs. Further, some warrants may have been entered by mistake. However, warrants related to felony charges may result in extradition from another state. Again, it all depends on the particular circumstances and the particular court's policies. I would recommend contacting a local defense attorney in the area of the court that issued the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    You should hire an attorney to address this matter as soon as possible. If you have a warrant outstanding, an attorney can make calls to determine whether you can be presented on the warrant so that you can avoid being arrested and taken to jail. Also, the attorney may be able to get some agreement about bond so that you can avoid scrambling for a bondsman or to post bond if your are unexpectedly arrested. Contact this office should you need assistance in this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Schedule a court appearance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You need to retain counsel and surrender on the warrant. We can be reached toll free for a no cost, no obligation phone consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Best thing to do is to find an attorney asap. An experienced criminal defense attorney can tell you what needs to be done next, whether that advice is to turn yourself in or whether he can handle it by setting you a court date to get the warrant cleared up. Sometimes this can be accomplished without you even personally appearing. An attorney may also be able to use your medical history to your advantage in negotiating the case with the DA or in pleading your case to the court (especially if he needs to make a pitch to keep you out of jail!).
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Contact the court and/or a lawyer and go into court to quash the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You should contact a criminal defense lawyer in the area of the warrant. If in my area I would certainly advise you to turn self in and make arrangements in advance so that bail can be arranged. Delay is a bad idea. Call a lawyer ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Allan & Summary
    Allan & Summary | Justin Summary
    Contact an attorney and let him/her know what court your warrant is out of. They may be able to get the warrant pulled and get you a new court date. If they cannot get the warrant pulled you will need to post bond in order to get a new court date.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to call me to schedule a free initial consultation-either in person or by phone-about your situation. You may need legal assistance to help you quash the warrant and/or deal with the underlying problem.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    A warrant can be cleared up by your appearance in the courthouse where the warrant was issued to turn yourself in and getting arrested; or by having a lawyer appear and getting the matter set for court and then either arguing bond for release or having a deal in place to get you released without bond. If you turn yourself in then you generally have to await in jail prior to getting in front of a judge. I would be happy to discuss the matter in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    Hire an attorney, then turn yourself in. The lawyer can get you up in front of the judge much more quickly than you can.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If you hire counsel, your attorney may be able to have the matter placed on the court calendar for a hearing and the warrant stayed pending that hearing. In other instances, you may be required to report to jail on the warrant and your counsel may have the matter called on the earliest available court calendar to be heard on conditions of release and bail.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    As you suggest, you will need to promptly make arrangements to address and face the charge against you. I would recommend that you also retain an experienced criminal attorney to advise you as to all your rights and to help you deal with this matter. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Contact a lawyer immediately to help you turn yourself in.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    You need to contact the agency where the warrant was issued and make arrangements to turn yourself in. You can do this yourself or a lawyer could assist you in making the arrangements. For more information, contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    You need to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney right away. Feel free to call me.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Talk to an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, the court will appoint one, but probably only after you turn yourself in to the police. Depending on the offense, your criminal history, and how full the jail is, they may release you, or you may be able to post bail. It's hard, but not impossible, to get a hearing while you have a warrant out, but turning yourself in will cause the court to set a hearing of some sort. And it's possible that the case is so old that it should be dismissed on speedy-trial grounds, but that depends on a lot of details.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Warrants can only be recalled by a personal appearance before a judge. You don't mention what the warrant is for so I can't predict what will happen to you. But the principle is that the underlying problem will then be resolved. Feel free to call if you want to explain your situation more in depth. It is best if you have an attorney to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    You need to file a motion to have the warrant quashed. However you need to settle what the matter is. If there is a pending charge you need to quash the warrant and the court will set a new court appearance date. If it is just a matter of paying a fine or ticket you should be able to pay and then it will be resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Background checks are not always accurate. Either you or your lawyer should contact the law enforcement agency that supposedly issued the warrant to make sure it is still valid. If it is, then you will probably have to turn yourself in to police so you can be arraigned on whatever the matter is. This will get the process started and is the only way to get the matter resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Depending on the reason for the warrant you can either appear in court yourself or hire an attorney to resolve the matter. If this is due to a misdemeanor or higher hire an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    You need to go to the court where it was issued, have it placed on calendar, and ask the judge to recall it, which will likely happen. The you need to deal with the underlying cause of the warrant. Having an attorney go with you would be very wise.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Get an attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Hire a lawyer. If you hire me, I will gather all the facts and history that I can and talk with the District Attorney. However, I will probably ask you to turn yourself in. You should set aside some money for bail; but that is no guarantee. Depending on the charge(s) and the length of time you have been under a warrant, they may hold you pending the disposition or trial. You need the help of a professional. If you cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed to represent you. If you are arrested and asked about the underlying charge, remember any statement you make can be used against you; so my advice is to remain silent.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    You should talk to a lawyer or call the court to find out the process for quashing the warrant. You're instinct to take care of it asap is right on because otherwise you could be arrested on the warrant, and it's always better to turn yourself in before that happens.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    I would suggest that you hire an attorney to accompany you to court, and turn yourself in voluntarily. If the warrant is for a felony, you could be picked up anywhere in the U.S. If it is a misdemeanor, you could be arrested anywhere in the State of Illinois, or the state where you were to appear in court in the case originally. By turning yourself in, you can ask to quash and recall the warrant for your arrest. If you need further information, contact me for possible representation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Open warrant for what type of offense? What court? This has to be taken care of ASAP as there could be an arrest warrant and your driving privileges suspended. I can handle this for you. Send me more information and contact info.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You need to contact an attorney and arrange a turn-in, where you can turn yourself into the jail and bond right back out. See my website.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    The answer to your question in some respects depends on what court the warrant was issued from. The prudent thing to normally do would be to either post the bond associated with the warrant or to schedule a motion to quash the warrant and come to court with proof of your past medical condition.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It depends upon what the Warrant is for and how long it's been open. If it's a simple traffic ticket, you should go to the Clerk's office and ask for the Warrant to be recalled and take care of it. If it's for a more important matter, then you may need to hire an attorney to represent you so you don't get held on bail. Make sure the attorney is experienced in criminal law in the local area in which the Warrant is pending. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Get a lawyer to go to court to recall the warrant and you give an extension to comply with whatever you need to comply with. A lawyer can appear without you, thus lessening the likelihood that you will be taken in custody for the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    If it is a misdemeanor warrant you can hire an attorney to go in for you recall the warrant and then try to have you complete any outstanding terms or pay off fines. A felony warrant is much more complicated and I would recommend contacting a lawyer directly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Depending on what the warrant is for and how much the bond is, you might be able to post the bond at the clerk's counter for the court that issued the warrant, then get a new court date. Otherwise, your only option is to turn yourself into the jail, post the bond and get the case back on track. You can call the clerk of the court county where the warrant is and ask about their procedure, some will let you show up in court on a certain day to avoid posting bond.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Leifert and Leifert
    The Law Offices of Leifert and Leifert | Brian Leifert
    A few different options here: 1. Hire a good criminal defense attorney to file a Motion to Vacate the warrant. If you have adequate documentation regarding your illness, hopefully the Judge will be understanding and lift your warrant. 2. If you cannot afford to hire lawyer, you can attempt to write a letter to the Judge explaining your situation. 3. Turn yourself in (not the best option obviously). I hope you get the matter favorably resolved and your health continues to improve.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Contact the Court Clerk. Put the case on the calendar in the appropriate courtroom and appear. Explain your story. Be polite and respectful, but with your head held high. Ask to have the warrant recalled and quashed, and proceedings reinstated. On the other hand, depending upon the circumstances and how long it has been, you might have a good case for a 'Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Speedy Prosecution'.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    For you to handle a warrant, you must turn yourself into the court, with or without an attorney, and try to negotiate a plea bargain on the warrant and new Failure to Appear charges, and negotiate any outstanding charges that caused the warrant. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than you being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it. If this is a felony, the defendant must be personally present at every court hearing and appearance. If this is a misdemeanor, the attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present, and any plea bargain deal could be handled by notarized paperwork. You face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That depends on what court issued the warrant. What you should do is go to that court's web site and see what it says about having a warrant quashed. Be prepared with proof of your illness or you may be booked into jail. Under no circumstances should you be in possession of any drugs when you appear. Likewise do not appear in court with alcohol on your breath. That's just begging to be taken into custody. Make sure you leave any weapons in your vehicle including pepper spray. Please give me a call if you have any other questions or concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    Procedures vary from state to state, county to county and court to court You should contact an attorney in the jurisdiction that issued the warrant to arrange to have it quashed. *Please note that this is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post represents only the posters opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in the State of Washington. For more information about our law firm and services, please visit our website.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    You need to go to the court that issued the warrant. Or you could hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Warrants never expire, so you're going to have to take care of this one way or another. How you proceed depends on what the situation is. The things that are going to factor in are: Was this for a felony or a misdemeanor? Is the case still open or is this a probation violation? What's the basis for the warrant if it's a violation? No matter what the situation is - you're going to need an attorney to get you through this. Look for a local criminal defense attorney. Find somebody that focuses on criminal law and who routinely practices in the court where the case is pending.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    It sounds like this is what is called a default warrant. These are issued if and when a defendant in a criminal case fails to appear in court on a scheduled date for some reason. You should immediately retain a criminal defense attorney who will then contact the appropriate authorities (typically including the District Attorneys Office) and make arrangements with you to get to the court from which the warrant was issued as soon as possible. That attorney will advocate on your behalf in front of the judge in detail as to why you had missed court and why you should not be held in custody by the court pending the resolution of your case. If applicable, you should also have that attorney represent you in the underlying case itself, unless it is an alleged offense that by law carries no possibility of jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In Massachusetts if you have an open warrant, you need To go to the court with the warrant to remove it. Depending on the seriousness of the charges you may want to go in represented by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Retain a lawyer to work the case out ahead of time if possible or to arrange no/low bail if possible. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense so feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/19/2011
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