Nobody ever plans to be arrested or have a warrant out for their arrest, but it happens to millions of people every year. If a warrant has been issued for your arrest there are a few things you should know in order to protect your rights and spend as little time in jail as possible. Police are allowed to arrest a person without a warrant under several special circumstances (such as the officer witnessing the crime) – otherwise a warrant must be issued for your arrest. Knowing how to work through the system will make the process more painless.
Posting Bail on Outstanding Warrant
Luckily for some of the accused, certain warrants have predetermined bail amounts assigned to them. This means that you can post bail to the courthouse without ever having to spend a day in jail. Serious felony charges will likely not have this option, and some warrants actually state “No Bail” on them. If you are able to post bail, however, there are a two ways to go about it.
Bail Bond for Warrant
A bail bond is the option that most people take to avoid arrest on an outstanding warrant. Contact Bail Hotline and we will do the research and determine the status of your warrant and all the options open to you. If bail can be posted on your warrant, then we will post a surety bond to ensure your continued freedom. An upfront fee of 10% of the actual bail amount is required for this service. After the bond is posted, your warrant will be recalled and a date set for your appearance in court.
Cash Bond for Warrant
Turning yourself in to law enforcement can be a harrowing experience, especially when you are unsure of the outcome. Call the court, giving your case number or name and date of birth to determine which options apply to the warrant. In certain specific cases you can “Post and Forfeit” the warrant; after paying the full bail, the warrant is recalled and the case is closed.
Bail can be posted with cash, credit card or a check. The courts hold onto this money until a trial has completely concluded, at which point the bail amount may be returned, less court costs and expenses. Statistically, cases where bail is paid with cash incur higher court fees – essentially, if you show you have lots of cash the court will not hesitate to charge you full price for all expenses incurred (such as a portion of any public defender costs).
If Bail Can’t Be Posted on Warrant
If there is no predetermined bail set for your outstanding warrant there are a few options to consider. As the accused you can always turn yourself in to law enforcement. At this point you may be released on your own recognizance, or you will remain in jail until hearing whether you are eligible for bail. Unfortunately bail itself is not a constitutional right, but freedom from excessive bail is a right.
You also have the right to request a hearing by being put on the walk-in warrant calendar. In some cases this is not an option due to the fact that the court may put a “no court surrender” order on the warrant. In this case it is best to just turn yourself in to police. If this order hasn’t been put onto your warrant then you can show up where your original case was supposed to be heard, and ask to be put on the hearing docket of the day. If bail is set during this hearing, then once again you can post it by paying cash or contacting a bail bondsman.