We all—well, most of us—know that feeling of dread reading that warrant notice. Whether it’s because you forgot (or, “forgot”) to pay for that traffic ticket, or you missed that court date, having an active warrant is no joke. Upon your next contact with law enforcement, you will go to jail. If your warrant is particularly severe, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) may actually be looking for you. While your particular situation may not warrant an active DPD search, one thing is certain for all active warrant cases: if you do run into them, it won’t be good.
So, the question is: how can you work around a warrant for your arrest without actually being arrested? This may come as a surprise, but depending on the original crime, it’s actually a simple process.
First? Breathe. Second? Get your phone out. We’ll be making a couple phone calls.
(Side note: for those who don’t have access to a phone or can’t make phone calls, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!)
What Does it Mean to Have a Warrant?
A warrant is actually quite simple; it’s a judge’s approval to arrest someone immediately upon contact. In other words, it’s on sight.
It does sound like a scary ordeal, but in most cases, it’s simple to resolve. Typically, all you have to do is pay it off and you’re clear. Of course, every situation is different; for instance, if you have a warrant for missing a court date or for assaulting someone, it’s definitely not that simple. We’ll cover those details further below.
Get All the Information
Is your phone still out? Here’s where you’ll be taking big steps towards clearing your warrant. First thing’s first: gather all your information. You’ll need to find out:
- Why you have a warrant (what the crime was)
- When it was activated
- Is it a state-issued warrant or a federal warrant?
- How much is it?
The best place to call is your district or county clerk’s office. Before you hit the call button, have your warrant notice handy. This will facilitate the call much quicker, as you’ll have your unique case number to jump right into the details. If you don’t have the letter with you, don’t fret. Simply inform them that you don’t have it, and they’ll instead use your name and birthdate to find your records.
If you don’t have access to a phone or can’t make phone calls, simply visit your county clerk’s website. On it, you can check the status of your warrant, make a payment, request copies of files, and much more.
- Dallas County Clerk’s office: click here or call (214) 653-7099.
- Collin County Clerk’s office: click here or call (972) 548-4185.
- Tarrant County Clerk’s office: click here or call (817) 884-1195.
Once you have all of the above information, you can proceed towards resolving your warrant. For local warrants related to unpaid tickets or fines, you’re just one step away from resolving it—without any jail time! If your warrant was for missing a court date or a heinous crime (like assault), scroll down towards the bottom—we’ve still got something for you.
Pay Your Fine, Clear Your Warrant
If you can, pay off your warrant. This is the fastest way to clear your warrant without having to worry about any jail time. Being in North Texas, however, it’s very likely this is a costly amount (especially in Collin County). That being said, if you’re capable of paying off the entire fine, we highly recommend you do so. Legal issues are not only a financial burden, but a huge stress factor you don’t need in your life. The sooner you put this warrant behind you, the better.
If you can’t pay off the entire fine, there’s good news! If the county clerk hasn’t told you already, you have the option to pay in increments. Or in other words, you can get on a payment plan. The parameters of such vary between districts and counties, so it’s good to ask your county clerk what your options are.
Try Deferred Disposition
Depending on the original crime (and your criminal history), deferred disposition may be a beneficial option. Deferred disposition acts as a suspended sentence, and is given to you after you make a plea (between guilty or no contest). By doing this, you’re essentially telling the judge that you’ll do whatever you can to clear your record of this particular warrant (and crime).
Once the judge approves, you’ll be given a list of conditions and requirements to meet before a certain deadline. If you complete everything on time, your crime will be removed from your record! This also means your insurance rate won’t spike up. 👀Here’s a short list of requirements in order to apply for deferred disposition:
- You must apply on or before your court date
- You must not have already had deferred disposition within the last year
- You must plead either guilty or no contest
If your phone is still out, ask your county clerk’s office what your options are. If you aren’t eligible, they’ll let you know.
Remember we said we got you? If you have an active warrant for missing an important court date or for severe crimes (such as a hit-and-run or assault), your best possible option is to seek legal advice. If you don’t have an attorney, we suggest you search for one in your local area. At this point, a legal expert (such as a lawyer) has all the tools and resources you need to take the next step towards resolving your warrant.
If you can’t afford a lawyer, we understand (they’re not exactly convenient for your wallet). However, there’s a little secret most aren’t aware about when it comes to legal advice: reputable bail bond companies. Yes, most bail bond companies offer free consultations, legal insight, and tips and advice. For example, A-EZ Out Bail Bonds in Dallas is known for their friendly approach, true concern for others, and experience with the Dallas court system. Best of all, they operate 24/7 (so you can call in the middle of the night if you wanted to) and you don’t need an appointment for an in-person consultation. Did we mention it’s completely free?
Try A-EZ Out Bail Bonds
While your situation may seem harrowing, there is always a right decision to make. For help on what that decision is or what you should do next, call us.
Our staff offer valuable insight based on their own experience with the North Texas court system, and may help clear the path for your next step. To contact A-EZ Out Bail Bonds, call (214) 749-5600 or stop by their office today.