First let me say that I’m sorry you have a warrant, or that you are researching about warrants for a loved one. I know that sucks and you are stressed about what will happen. Hopefully, this guide will help. If you don’t want to read this while thing the short answer is- just call me and we’ll figure it out.
First I need to figure out what the warrant is for, and if a bond amount is set. Some warrants come with pre-set bond amounts, some don’t.
Example 1- You miss a court date on your marijuana possession case. The judge revokes your earlier bond and sets a new bond amount of $5,000.
Example 2- You get in a DWI accident and go to the hospital. The police do not arrest you at the hospital. Instead, the DA’s office subpoenas your medical records, see all the drugs and booze in your blood, and issues arrest warrant months later. There is not a bond amount set on the warrant.
Let’s start with example 1-
What can you do if a bond amount is already set?
Cash Bond- If you have $5,000 you can pay what is called a cash bond. That is, if you can get $5,000 to the Sheriff’s office then you can get the money back when the case is over (if you don’t miss any court dates). Call your local Sheriff for details on how they want the money paid to them.
Bail Bondsman- If you don’t have $5,000 upfront you can hire a bail bonds company to post bail for you. They will usually charge you 10-15% of the total amount. But you won’t get any money back at the end. Think of a bail bondsman as bail insurance, they are insuring you will go to court. If not then they might have to pay the $5,000.
What if no bond amount is set?
Well, then you have to wait on the judge to set bond when you are arraigned or your lawyer can see if the prosecutor will agree to a bond amount (which depends on how busy your prosecutor is, and if they have the file yet from the cops, inter alia).
The problem with having the magistrate set bail is you have to wait until around 10AM at the Kaufman County Jail. That is when bail is set by the JP judges. The Kaufman JP judges are on a rotating schedule and usually get to the jail around 8-10AM and arraign the defendants and set their bail amount.
You should have a bail company on standby if you have no bond amount set, that way when bond is set they can post it for you.
What if you have a “no bond” set?
Some prosecutors in Kaufman routinely County set “no bonds” on misdemeanor probation revocation cases. It’s a bullshit deal and here is how that works. Defendant is on probation for a DWI or marijuana case, that person makes a mistake or two (missing a meeting or fails a UA) so the DA wants to revoke their probation. The prosecutor will ask the judge for a “no bond” to be set. A “no bond” means what it says, no amount of money can get you out of jail. You’re stuck if you get arrested.
If that happens I have to work with the prosecutor to either get a bail amount set or try and work out a plea bargain.
Why would the prosecutor want a no bond on an MTR? Leverage. If you are stuck in jail, you will want to take whatever shitty plea bargain they throw at you to get out of jail. Keeps them from having MTR hearings or having to prove their allegations.
What else can you do with an outstanding warrant?
If I can work out a plea bargain on your case and we enter a plea that can lift the warrant. You still might have to book into to the jail if you were never arrested, but it could save you from paying any bail money. Since ending a case also takes care of the warrant.
Are the police going to kick in my door and arrest me?
Probably not. Thousands of warrants are outstanding across the metroplex. The police and Sheriff don’t have enough time to round up everyone and arrest them. Unless your case is a severe or violent felony you are probably not going to be arrested at your home or work. Most people get arrested driving when they are pulled over for something else. So if you have an outstanding warrant don’t drive, and if you do drive don’t ride dirty!