A criminal defense attorney can help you with a warrant resulting from an unpaid traffic ticket or missed court appearance; your lawyer can also help you fight criminal charges for failing to appear in court.
Children of the 80s remember playing the game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” in school computer labs, on boxy computers that displayed rudimentary, monochromatic graphics. They still remember the exhilarating feeling that the endgame was approaching when Interpol issued a warrant for the arrest of the suspect the game player had identified. It is a lot less fun when the state of Texas has a warrant out for your arrest.
A judge can issue an arrest warrant if there is probable cause that you committed a crime (for example, if an informant bought illegal drugs from you). A judge can issue a bench warrant if you disobey a court order to appear in court or to pay a fine; a bench warrant also gives police the authority to arrest you.
The police will bring you directly to the judge that issued the warrant if the courthouse is open; if the police execute the warrant at night, they will keep you in jail until the courthouse reopens the next business day. If a judge has issued a bench warrant against you, the criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker can help you recall the warrant.
If the Warrant Has Not Yet Been Executed
If a judge has issued a bench warrant because you failed to pay a fine or missed a scheduled court appearance, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can help you argue that you had a valid reason for missing the court appearance.
In 2018, a Texas law went into effect saying that it is not lawful to jail people for inability to pay fines or to attend court dates when they have a reasonable excuse; jailing these people amounts to debtor’s prison, which the Constitution forbids.
Reasonable excuses include lack of transportation, lack of childcare, and not being able to change their work schedules to attend the court date. If a judge has issued a bench warrant against you, but the police have not yet arrested you, your lawyer can help you get the bench warrant recalled, meaning that the judge will cancel the warrant.
If the Police Have Already Arrested You
The first thing you do when you get to jail is call a criminal defense lawyer, or else call a family member and ask them to call a lawyer. This is true whether your arrest was because of a bench warrant or any other reason. You could face criminal charges for failure to appear, and a criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these charges.
Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker About Bench Warrants
Time is of the essence when a judge has issued a bench warrant against you. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss your case.