Warrants in Texas
Texas arrest warrants are issued by a judge for many different causes. You may have a warrant out for your arrest if:
- There are new charges pending against you.
- You have committed a probation misdemeanor.
- You failed to appear at a mandatory court date.
- You did not complete a mandatory Driver Safety Course or community service order.
- You refused to pay a fine assessed by the judge or defaulted on a payment arrangement like child support.
In order to authorize a warrant, police must have reasonable evidence establishing probable cause. When a warrant is issued, a $50 fee is added onto your case and the details are entered into a regional database. You should be notified through mail or telephone call, but you may hear from family members or friends who were contacted by law enforcement in your absence.
If there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you may be picked up by police officers at your home, school, place of employment, or at a traffic stop. It’s better to turn yourself in before an arrest is made in this fashion, but there are steps you can take to make this event less stressful and more likely to end in your favor.
Where to Conduct a Warrant Search
Wondering if there’s a warrant out for your arrest? There are many places to conduct a public warrant search:
You can also visit the sheriff’s office to find out if you have a warrant, but prepared to be arrested on the spot if you do! At best, they will set a court date and let you go. Running from the law is not recommended either, of course, unless you like police brutality raining down on you, having your family harassed and embarrassed, or harsher sentences.
Should You Turn Yourself in If You Have An Arrest Warrant?
Ok, so there IS an arrest warrant with your name on it in the Texas warrant search. What do you do?!
First, ALWAYS contact a criminal defense lawyer. Attorneys are protected by a code of confidentiality and are not allowed to testify against you or turn you into the police if you do not wish them to do so. Instead, we will look into the case against you, help you understand the severity of the charges, provide you with legal counsel, and help you cope with the anxiety of the situation.
Benefits of working with a lawyer include:
- Avoiding giving possibly incriminating statements to the police.
- Securing early representation in case you are required to appear in court.
- Finding out the charges, your bond amount, court dates, and other important details surrounding your case.
- Improving your chances of getting a reasonable bond and increasing time to gather bail money.
- Assisting with posting a bond on your behalf and securing witnesses who will testify for you.
- Planning when, where, and how you will be apprehended into police custody.
- Negotiating a lower bail or complete dismissal of bail.
Your attorney may help you work with a bond agency to secure your release before you go in. Sometimes a bail bondsman will do a “warrant walk-through,” which is a pre-approved bond and pre-filled paperwork that has you released from custody immediately.
Consider when you want to present yourself to law enforcement and the judge. If you go in at the wrong time, you could end up spending a few extra unnecessary days in jail. Generally, the best time to turn yourself in will be Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Mondays are busy, as staff catches up with weekend arrest processing. Judges and magistrates are generally gone before the end of day on Fridays.
How you present yourself is also important. You want to dress comfortably, but presentable. At the very least, you’ll need a clean shirt, jeans, and slip-on shoes. If bail is necessary, bring cash or cards with you, along with photo ID. Avoid bringing in “contraband” like utility knives, cigarettes, belts, shoelaces, or drawstrings, which will likely be confiscated. You may bring reading glasses and medication, but you may consider contacting the county jail in advance to know their medical policies. Write important numbers on a piece of paper and leave your cell phone at home.
Remember, it is your right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You have a right to an attorney being present during all proceedings.
Types of Warrants in Texas
Depending on the nature of your crime, you may be issued one of the following warrants in Texas:
- Class A Warrants – There are hundreds of charges that may lead to a Class A warrant, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. High BAC or repeat DWIs, assault causing bodily injury, domestic violence, dangerous drug possession, motor vehicle theft, possession of a deadly weapon are common causes we come across in Texas.
- Class B Warrants – Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000. Class B warrants may be issued for theft ($50-$500), possession of marijuana (under two ounces), or DWI (under .15 BAC). Criminal trespassing, evading arrest, harassment, possession of a controlled substance, indecent exposure, prostitution, and driving with a suspended license can all be considered for Class B warrants.
- Class C Warrants – Most Texas traffic tickets (not including parking) are considered Class C Misdemeanors and are punishable by fines of up to $500. Other Class C warrants may be issued for failure to appear. Typically, you will not be sentenced to jail, but an officer may have you spend a night in jail at his or her discretion – particularly if you have a third underage drinking conviction or have outstanding misdemeanor warrants on your record.
- Dallas County Warrants – The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office at 1512 E. Langdon Road in Dallas, TX 75241 is the main law enforcement agency in Dallas County. These sheriff deputies have jurisdiction over all 33 cities in Dallas County. What makes a Dallas County warrant significant is that it never expires.
- Colin County Warrants
Peveto Law Handles Texas Arrest Warrants the Right Way
Contact us at Peveto Law for the best guidance on Texas arrest warrants and representation you can count upon. Case evaluations are done free of charge. We’ve served the DFW region for nearly a decade with five-star reviews, a trusted reputation, and proven results.
- Law Dictionary, How To Know If You Have Warrants In Texas, https://thelawdictionary.org/article/how-to-know-if-you-have-warrants-in-texas/
- Texas Warrant Roundup, Dallas County Arrest Warrant and Court Records Search, https://texaswarrantroundup.org/dallas-county-arrest-warrants-search.html