An attorney may be able to lift your warrant, cancel your bond, and obtain a new court date for you. Then your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense.
Why Was a Warrant Issued Against Me?
Missouri courts issue arrest warrants for a variety of reasons, but here are a few of the most common ones:
- you failed to pay your fine for a speeding ticket or other moving violation
- you’re on a payment plan with the court to pay fines that you owe and you missed a payment
- you missed a court date
- you caused a car accident and didn’t pay for the damages to the other driver’s car
Some courts will send a letter reminding you that you missed your court date, or failed to pay a fine, before they file a Failure to Appear (FTA) charge or issue an arrest warrant. Other courts issue active arrest warrants immediately after the first missed court date or payment due date.
What is a Bond?
After your second missed court date, many courts will issue an arrest warrant against you and will assess a bond, which is an amount of money that you must pay the court to get your warrant cancelled and to get a new court date. Bond amounts can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the type of charges that were filed against you.
How to Get Your Bond Cancelled
A lawyer may be able to get your warrant cancelled (“lifted”), obtain a new court date for you, and negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to have the charge reduced to a lesser offense. The prosecutor will assess the fine and court costs and give you a new court date, which will be your payment due date. If your lawyer gets your bond cancelled, then that means you don’t have to pay the bond amount to the court, but you will have to pay the fine and court costs, as well as any other fees, such as a warrant fee or FTA fee.
Some courts won’t cancel a warrant just because an attorney files a pleading requesting it. In those courts, the defendant’s only option is to pay the bond in order to cancel the warrant and get a new court date.
If You Have Multiple Warrants, You Will Be Taken to Each Jail Where You Have a Warrant, Unless an Attorney Gets Your Warrants Cancelled in Advance
If you have warrants in more than one court and the police arrest you and take you to jail for one of those warrants, then as soon as you pay your bond in the first court, you will be sent to jail in the next court that issued a warrant for your arrest. In order to be released from jail in the second court and get a new court date, you will have to pay a separate bond. This process will repeat until you bond out of the last jail where you have a warrant.
An attorney may be able to get your warrants cancelled before you leave one jail and are transported to the next jail. Many municipal courts don’t hold court very often, though, so it’s possible that your attorney would not be able to get your warrant cancelled until the next time court is in session, which could be one to two weeks, in some jurisdictions.
An Attorney Can Tell You If You Have a Warrant
If you suspect you have a warrant for your arrest, contact an attorney, who can research the arrest warrant records and tell you which courts have issued warrants against you. In many cases, a lawyer can get your warrants cancelled and negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor regarding the underlying charges.
Click here for more information about Missouri arrest warrants and FTA (Failure to Appear) charges.
If you have a question about an arrest warrant or other issue, call St. Louis Traffic Lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free price quote for legal representation in the St. Louis area and throughout Missouri.