If you have a warrant can you just pay it? There are hundreds of thousands of outstanding warrants at any given time in California. Though it is possible to have a warrant recalled, most people don’t know how–or where to start.
When facing a warrant, the most important thing to do is to take action immediately. Consider hiring a legal professional to avoid any unnecessary charges or jail time.
Use this guide to learn about clearing a warrant in California.
Understanding Two Types of Warrants
There are two types of warrants you can have for various reasons. You’ll need to know precisely which kind of warrant you have so you can start rescinding it.
Use the following section to learn more about each type of warrant.
Bench warrants are the most common type of warrant.
Most people receive bench warrants for failure to appear in court or follow legal proceedings. You must appear in court when summoned, or you could obtain a bench warrant. This applies to subpoenaed witnesses and defendants.
Additionally, bench warrants are typically issued for:
- Probation violations
- Failure to pay fines or complete community service
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to comply with a court of law
If you have a bench warrant, there are several measures you can take to avoid having to go to jail or pay bail, get in touch with Garett T. Rice for a free consultation.
Unfortunately, arrest warrants are a bit more severe than bench warrants.
Arrest warrants are only issued in California when the police have sufficient evidence to warrant your arrest.
Arrest warrants are typically issued for:
- Immediate arrest: If you’ve committed a serious or violent crime, you likely face immediate arrest, in which case the police will attempt to find you immediately.
- Pending Arrest: If you are facing a less severe charge, you are likely pending arrest, which means the police may not prioritize your arrest, but they will eventually do it.
Your options, in this case, are slightly different than if you had received a bench warrant. Read on to learn more.
Recalling a Bench Warrant
If you have a bench warrant, there are particular options you can explore to clear it.
A judge will recall your bench warrant only if you can appear in court—or have a qualified California defense attorney appear for you—and prepare a formal request to rescind your contract.
Remember that you can only have the option of sending an attorney in your stead if you’ve committed a misdemeanor. If you want a bench warrant for felony charges removed from your record, you will likely need to appear before a judge in the state of California.
Tips for Recalling a Bench Warrant
If you plan to have a bench warrant rescinded from your record, you should begin by sufficiently preparing your case.
You can attempt to prepare your statement and appear in court alone, or you can seek the help of an accredited lawyer. A lawyer can help you present yourself favorably.
Ultimately, your attitude is one of the most significant determinants of the outcome of your case. If you fully cooperate with court orders, appear when asked to appear, and bring the required documentation, you’re far more likely to succeed than if you appear unprepared and moody.
Remember to speak in a measured tone of voice and to respect the judge and other representatives in the courtroom since your fate hangs in the balance.
A bench warrant shouldn’t be challenging to have recalled, but it does require a decent amount of preparation and legal expertise.
Recalling an Arrest Warrant
If you have an arrest warrant, you’re likely concerned about your chances of having your contract recalled.
However, judges can recall any sort of warrant–including arrest warrants—so you can still take the necessary steps to clear your record of any significant blemishes.
You will likely need to appear in court to have your arrest warrant recalled. You can request to have a lawyer appear for you.
Getting an arrest warrant recall is slightly trickier than recalling a bench warrant, so consider using the help of a professional.
Once your lawyer is in court, they will try to get the judge to agree to recall your arrest warrant. The judge is likely to require some sort of exchange. You may have to:
- Show proof of improvement (counseling or volunteering)
- Pay fees, fines, or charges
- Make a court appearance (particularly in the case of a felony)
Tips for Recalling an Arrest Warrant
If you have an arrest warrant, you may have a more challenging time having it recalled.
However, remember that arrest warrants are a bit trickier to recall, and you may need a lawyer for this part.
If you try to recall your arrest warrant, consider obtaining a preset bond with the help of your attorney.
Remember to stay on top of your deadlines and court proceedings, communicate clearly with all parties involved, and show respect to the court when you are there. When you have a warrant recalled, you want to portray yourself favorably.
If You Have a Warrant, Can You Just Pay It?
If you have a warrant, you can just pay it.
There are several ways to deal with an outstanding warrant, and your choice will depend mainly on your type of warrant.
If you have not entered a plea on your case, you can do one of the following:
- Post a bond to obtain a court date (either a cash or surety bond)
- Pay your fine with cash, money order, or credit card directly at the courthouse.
- Set up a payment plan with the court (either in person or on the phone)
- Send a cashier’s check or money order for the amount of your fine and contact the court office for confirmation.
- Pay the fine with a card online (this counts as a no-contest plea)
- Request to have a new court date rescheduled and try to recall your warrant
If you have entered a plea on your case, you can only pay the fine in person, set up a payment plan, or enter your card information online.
Although you can pay the fine to make it disappear, it isn’t the best solution since the charge may still appear on your permanent record.
To ensure that the charge does not tarnish your record, consider working with a qualified local attorney to help you with your case.
What to Do If You Have an Outstanding Warrant
You will receive a warrant if you fail to show up in court, break the law, or violate a court order. Until you resolve that warrant by appearing in court, paying a fee, or turning yourself in, your warrant is outstanding.
An outstanding warrant means that the police can arrest you at any time and may be actively looking for you.
When you are faced with an outstanding warrant, the best measure is to contact a legal professional for advice related to your case. An attorney or other professional can contact the police or the courts to negotiate on your behalf.
Additionally, follow these steps.
- Find out what the warrant is for: You may be able to search on your local government website since most law enforcement agencies are required to share that information, and it is typically accessible online.
- Prepare your finances: If you can, try to find the amount the court wants you to pay. If you do not currently have the money, try to arrange an alternative means of obtaining a bail bond or other assistance. It’s always best to prepare.
- Stay calm: Ultimately, allowing yourself to become anxious will not serve you. Help is available to you, and you may be able to resolve your case without issue.
Contact Garret T. Rice for Help
No California attorney is more qualified to help you recall your warrant than Garrett T. Rice.
If you face a warrant from the California state or local government, you can contact Garrett Rice immediately for a free consultation.
Rice will do everything in his power to ensure that you receive the most fair outcome possible, and he can bring you invaluable advice and peace of mind in an otherwise distressing situation.