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Are you tired of constantly looking over your shoulder, worried about being arrested for that outstanding warrant? Are you unable to renew your drivers license because you can’t go to the DPS office for fear of being arrested? Are you concerned that you may have a warrant for your arrest because someone called the cops on you? Not knowing if, when, or where you will be arrested is certainly uncomfortable.
If there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, there is no "if". You will likely be arrested sometime, somewhere … it could be at your house, at your job, during a routine traffic stop (which will likely result in the towing of your car and additional fees to get your car out of impound), or any other time an officer has reason to contact you. An experienced attorney may be able to arrange for your surrender and get your bond set, minimizing the time you have to spend in jail and eliminating your anxiety about when you will be arrested.
Arrest warrants are issued for a variety of reasons, and you are entitled to a bond for most, but not all, warrants. The following is a description of situations in which an arrest warrant may issue.
Original warrant of arrest – Sometimes an offense occurs outside the presence of officers, or some other circumstance exists that prevents the officer from making an arrest at the time of the alleged offense. In this situation, a law enforcement officer will present a sworn affidavit of the alleged facts to a judge who, if the judge finds that probable cause exists to believe an offense was committed, will issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused. Although you are entitled to a bond in this situation, the judge does not always put a bond amount on the warrant. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to get a bond set for you before you surrender yourself, thereby minimizing the amount of time you have to sit in jail before bonding out.
Warrant for Failure to Appear (other than traffic tickets) – You have already been arrested and bonded out for an alleged offense, but fail to appear in Court at the designated time. Forgetting a court date is not like forgetting a dental appointment - Judges are rarely sympathetic, and usually issue a warrant for your arrest with no bond or a high bond. Depending on the circumstances of why you missed your court date, and how much time has passed since you missed court, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to get you before the judge that issued the warrant and have the original bond reinstated, or get a reasonable bond set for you.
Warrant for Failure to Appear (traffic tickets) – You received a ticket for a traffic violation, and failed to respond to the Court by the deadline provided on the ticket. Municipal or Justice of the Peace Courts usually, but not always, issue a warrant for failure to appear (the court will also put a hold on your drivers license for failure to appear, preventing you from renewing your drivers license until the ticket has been resolved). You are entitled to a bond. An experienced attorney can post an attorney bond for you and thereafter appear in court on your behalf to resolve the ticket.
Probation Violation Arrest Warrants – You have already resolved your criminal case and have been placed on probation. At some point thereafter, you are accused of violating the terms of your probation and a warrant is issued for your arrest. You may be entitled to a bond, depending on the type of probation you are serving. If you received deferred adjudication probation, you are entitled to a bond and an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to get a bond set for you. If you were found guilty and placed on regular probation, you are not entitled to a bond. However, you may be able to get a bond set depending on the circumstances and the judge. You should contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options.