Finding out that there is a warrant out for your arrest can be a very frightening experience. Adding to the stress is confusion about what happens next and how warrants work. It is important to realize that you do not need to go through this experience on your own. The best course of action is to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through the process. Ignoring a warrant will not make it go away.
Below is a general list of steps you should take if you have a warrant out for your arrest in Sugar Land, Texas.
- Confirm There is an Arrest Warrant
In most cases, the police or government will not inform you that there is a warrant out for your arrest, but there are ways to confirm this information. You can check online databases or call the county or district court clerk’s office. You can also contact a Sugar Land attorney who will have the resources to check and quickly confirm whether there is a warrant out for your arrest.
- Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If there is a warrant out for your arrest, you should reach out to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Sugar Land. An attorney will have the experience to guide you through the process and get the warrant lifted. He or she will explain all the options available to you so that you can address the situation head-on.
Furthermore, if it is an arrest warrant, it is always in your best interest to get a defense attorney involved in your case as soon as possible. Actions that you take early on can have a significant result on the outcome of your case.
- Understand the Type of Warrant
There are two main types of warrants in Fort Bend County: 1) bench warrants and 2) arrest warrants.
- Bench Warrant. A bench warrant is typically issued when you do not show up to a court date or you fail to follow a court order, like paying child support or parking tickets. The warrant does not accuse you of a crime. Instead, it accuses you of an offense against the court itself. If you have a bench warrant, the police may not actively search for you, but if you are pulled over for a traffic issue or the police otherwise pull your information, you will be detained.
- Arrest Warrant. An arrest warrant is more serious. It is signed by a judge after the government produces evidence showing probable cause that you committed a crime. Law enforcement will immediately attempt to locate and arrest you.
Together with Your Attorney Choose How to Lift the Arrest Warrant
How you will lift the warrant will depend significantly on your unique situation. The path you choose to take can have enormous consequences, so it is critical to work together with an experienced attorney. Some options that may be available to you are listed below.
- You can arrange to pay the ticket or fine together with court costs and fees. This is typically the best course of action if you are responding to a simple bench warrant. If you cannot pay the entire amount at once, you may be able to apply for a payment plan. However, if you miss payments, you may be subject to surcharges or a suspended license.
- You can post a cash bond and request a court date. Usually, the cash bond is equal to the amount listed on your warrant. This does not mean that you are pleading guilty. Instead, the court will schedule a date for you to come to court.
- Your attorney can file a bond on your behalf. If the warrant is for a Class C misdemeanor, you will typically need to pay the ticket or fine to get the warrant lifted. If the warrant is for a Class B misdemeanor or above, your attorney can arrange a faster arraignment, negotiate bail, and organize the surrender process.
- You can turn yourself in and serve jail time. If you choose this route, you must plead guilty to the crime. This may seem like the cheapest option, but it does not save you from the penalties and suspensions associated with the offense.
Your Sugar Land Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have an arrest warrant issued against you, reach out to an experienced and client-focused Sugar Land criminal defense attorney. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will provide a skilled and aggressive defense. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.