How to Find Out if You Have a Warrant (And Steps to Follow if You do)
So, you ran a red light, or didn’t pay for a parking spot, and now you have a ticket. What happens if you don’t pay that fine, or, if you choose to contest the ticket in court, don’t show up for your assigned court date? Well, even though you may believe that your traffic violation is a big deal, if you choose not to pay or try and get the ticket waived in court and simply ignore it, you may in fact find yourself with a warrant in your name.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to this, and aren’t sure whether your have a warrant or not, follow these steps:
What Are Warrants?
When it comes to warrants, there are two types that may be applied to you if you do in fact have a warrant.
First, there is a bench warrant. Bench warrants are the most common and can be issued for a multitude of reasons, including missed court dates, failure to appear before a court or failure to comply with a mandated order.
The other type of warrant is an arrest warrant, which occurs when someone is suspected of a criminal activity and must be taken into police custody. A police officer must be able to produce a sufficient amount of evidence to a judge in order to prove that an arrest warrant is necessary.
So, How Do You Find Out if You Have a Warrant?
If you’re trying to figure out whether or not you have a warrant, then you can check your local court’s website, which more often than not will have searchable public records that you can use find existing warrants in your name. If you find out on the website that this information is not open to the public, then call the court’s clerk or county clerk.
If you end up calling a clerk, then you should have the following information on hand:
- The Case Number (if you aren’t sure what your case number is, the clerk may be able to help you)
- Your birth date
- Your social security number
While you can avoid identifying yourself as the person that the warrant was issued for if it is a court warrant, we do not condone ignoring a warrant that is in your name. Instead, use this time to speak with your lawyer on the proper and legal steps to take. If the warrant is an arrest warrant, turn yourself over to the authorities immediatel.
Keep in mind, criminal cases are public, but some states have regulations against releasing civil case information to the public. For example, civil domestic cases are often times not likly to be public.
What to Do if You Have a Warrant
If you followed those steps and it leads you to finding out that you do have a warrant, whether a bench or arrest, then you may be able to show up in court and pay a fine, depending on the severity of the warrant. However, check with your lawyer beforehand if this is an option. Once again, this is exclusive for court warrants. If you have an arrest warrant, turn yourself in immediately.
If you do not have a legal counsel to help you determine next steps, a court clerk might also be able to guide you in terms of actions to take to mend the situation.
Important information to note: If you do not take care of your warrant, either by going to court or speaking with a lawyer, the next time you come in contact with the police, you are more likely to be taken into custody.
One of the most common examples, and an easily avoidable situation, is someone not going to court or paying for a traffic violation. If they ignore the fine or do not contest in court, they are much more likely to be taken into custody.
How Goldberg Bail Bonds Can Help
If you ever do find yourself in jail, whether as a result of a warrant or another cause, Goldberg Bail Bonds can assist you in getting out of jail and back in your home while you await the day of your court case.
A friend, relative, attorney or defendant will contact us and during the first conversation, we collect some information for the necessary paperwork. Once the paperwork is completed, we will post the bond.
Also, read about how Goldberg Bail Bonds can help you clear a warrant.