How to Handle an Outstanding Warrant for Your Arrest

By George Khoury, Esq. on January 19, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Finding out you have an outstanding warrant can be frightening and shocking. Frequently the discovery of an outstanding warrant happens to people when they are pulled over for something simple like speeding. When this happens, a person is likely to be arrested on the spot. However, if the warrant is from another state and for something trivial, you might not get extradited.

Other times, a person may find out they have an outstanding warrant through other means, such as by viewing the online court record for the criminal court hearing they missed. When this happens, there are several things a person can do to handle an outstanding warrant for their arrest (aside from fleeing to the equator to live out the rest of their days in anonymity).

Hire a Lawyer

While you may want to go to court on your own to face the music, you risk being arrested on the spot if there is an outstanding warrant. For example, if a bench warrant has been issued because you failed to show up to court for a speeding ticket, frequently, by hiring an attorney to go to court for you, they may be able to get the warrant lifted, especially for relatively minor crimes like traffic violations and the like.

If the attorney is unable to get the warrant lifted, they may be able to arrange for your surrender to authorities on a particular day so that you may have more time to prepare yourself.

Arrange Bail

If you are able to get a warning about your outstanding warrant, it may be helpful to arrange for bail. If available in your jurisdiction, you may want to contact a bail bondsmen in order to post bail as soon as possible after your arrest. Alternatively, you may want to line up a friend or family member to help you with bail.

Prepare for Arrest

Providing your employer with notice of your upcoming absence, or having a family member or friend contact them can often save a person from getting fired for not showing up. Along those same lines, making sure that things like your rent, mortgage payment, car note, and other bills are paid beforehand should not be neglected.

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