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Arrest Warrants

Call attorney Andrea Storey Rogers today at (314) 724-5059 for help with your arrest warrants.

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Missouri

If you have old tickets or criminal charges that you haven't taken care of and you want to check and see if you have a warrant, call the court and ask the court clerk if they have issued a warrant against you. You can also check online at Missouri case.net, but their records won't be as current as those kept by court clerks, and not all municipal courts participate in case.net.

Or you can hire an attorney to do a warrant search. Traffic law attorneys and criminal defense attorneys are more likely than other types of attorneys to subscribe to an online service that allows them to search a database to find out which courts have issued arrest warrants against you. Expect to pay a small fee for this service.

Why Did the Court Issue a Warrant Against You?

Missouri courts issue arrest warrants for many 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
  • the court put you on a payment plan to pay off your fines and you missed a payment
  • you failed to appear in court for your court date
  • you were in an accident in a car that was not insured and you didn't pay for the damages to the other driver’s car

The court clerk can tell you why a warrant was issued against you. Or, if you hire an attorney to run a warrant search, they can identify the courts that issued warrants against you and explain the underlying charges.

Some courts will issue warrants against a vehicle's license plates if the registered owner of the vehicle fails to pay a red-light camera ticket fine. See my previous post about St. Ann Municipal Court issuing warrants for unpaid red-light camera fines.

How Long Until a Court Issues a Warrant?

A court will not notify you before issuing a warrant against you. Some courts issue warrants on the first day after you fail to appear at your court date or miss a payment. Other courts wait a few weeks before issuing an active warrant. If you're lucky, the court will send a letter reminding you that you failed to pay your fine or missed your court date before they issue a warrant or Failure to Appear (FTA) charge. However, don’t count on this unless you want to spend a few days in jail, waiting for your friends to bail you out.

Courts Require You to Pay a Bond to Get Out of Jail

Many courts will issue a Failure to Appear charge after you miss your first court date, but if you miss court a second time, the court will issue an arrest warrant and will set a bond, which is an amount of money that you have to pay to the court to get your warrant cancelled and to get a new court date. Bond amounts can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the charges against you.

Some bonds are "Cash Only." This means you can't use a bail bondsman, so the only way you will get out of jail before the next court date is if your friends or family members pay your bond in cash. If you can't pay the bond, you will sit in jail until the next court date, which could be a few days or a few weeks away, since some municipal courts only hold court once or twice a month.

How to Get Your Warrant Lifted

In most cases, an attorney can get your warrant cancelled ("lifted") and obtain a new court date for you. If you hire an attorney to lift your warrant, you won't have to pay the bond. Your attorney will then negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced to a lesser offense, and the prosecutor will assess the fine and court costs, plus other fees, such as a warrant fee or Failure to Appear fee.

Some courts such as Moline Acres Municipal Court and Maplewood Municipal Court 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 already pleaded guilty but you failed to pay the fines, or if an attorney represented you and you failed to pay the fines, then the court will issue a warrant for your arrest. In this type of situation, an attorney will not be able to lift your warrant. You will have to pay off all your fines and court costs in full before the court will lift your warrant.

Multiple Warrants 

If you have multiple warrants in several different courts and the police arrest you and take you to jail for one of those warrants, then as soon as you pay your bond or appear before the judge in court, you will be sent to jail in the next court that issued a warrant for your arrest. The next jail won't release you and give you a new court date until you pay a separate bond or appear before the judge in court. This process will be repeated in each city or county where you have a warrant.

If possible, your best option in this type of situation is to hire an attorney to get your warrant cancelled before the police transport you from the first jail to the next jail where you have a warrant.

Warrants Are Not Limited to the City That Issued the Warrant

Some people think if they have a warrant in one city or county, then as long as they stay away from that city or county, they won't be arrested. This is not true. For example, if the city of St. Ann, Missouri issues a warrant for your arrest and you are pulled over in Brentwood, Missouri (or any other town) for a traffic violation, the police officer will see that you have a warrant in St. Ann and he will take you to the St. Ann jail.

Some warrants are limited to a region or metropolitan area, while other warrants are issued throughout the entire state.

Instead of a Warrant, Some Courts Issue a Hold on Your Driver's License 

Instead of issuing a warrant, some courts issue a Lieu of Bail Hold Order on your driver's license if you miss your first court date or fail to pay your fine for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation. If there is a Lieu of Bail hold on your license, you can still drive legally, but you can't renew your driver's license, get a duplicate license, change your address listed on your license, or upgrade your license from one class to another.

To get the Lieu of Bail Hold removed, you must pay the fine (or hire an attorney to get the ticket reduced to a non-moving violation) and provide the Missouri Department of Revenue with a "release" from the court, proving that you have paid your fine.

28 Comments

  1. Art LeBeau on March 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Quite an interesting website and comments. I do have a question that I am curioous about as I cannot find the answer in the statutes.
    Does the issuing judge on an arrest warrant far on officers complaiint that a person hit a car in a parking lot and was not aware of it and the officer got the license plate and sent a summons for leaving the scene of an accident. A warrant was issued for arrest but it was not signed by a judge and we were told it doesn’t have to be signed. This doesn’t make sense to me.
    Jus curious to you response and being the strong Christian that I am, may our Lord Jesus guide you in all of your endeavors ;and if He is first, you will have success and satisfaction.
    Art LeBeau, Villa Ridge, Mo 314-406-8108

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on March 25, 2013 at 8:31 am

      It’s always been my understanding that a warrant has to be signed by a judge. I believe the judge can approve it by telephone or fax, rather than signing the warrant in person.

  2. mocca provence on November 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    i have a warrant in providence rhode island I never ever been arrested in any place in rhode island so what do I do

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on November 15, 2013 at 8:30 am

      It doesn’t matter that you were never arrested in Rhode Island. You might have received a traffic ticket in Rhode Island and failed to pay it, at which point the court issued a warrant for your arrest because you failed to appear in court or pay the fine. Hire a criminal defense attorney who practices in the city or county in Rhode Island where the warrant was issued. Your attorney may be able to get your warrant lifted without your having to appear in court. Your attorney may also be able to clear up the underlying charge.

  3. Floyd on January 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    If I got a ticket for driving without a license n they issued a warrent for failure to pay if I turn myself in will they make me stay

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on January 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      If you don’t have any other warrants in any other courts and you turn yourself in to police for this ticket for driving without a license, you will be booked and processed, then you will have to pay the bond. After you pay the bond, they will give you a new court date and release you. Then you can decide whether to hire an attorney to represent you in court or if you want to plead guilty and pay the fine before the next court date. Or, if you don’t want to turn yourself in, you can hire an attorney to lift the warrant for you and get the “Driving Without a License” ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction.

  4. ally on December 15, 2015 at 5:21 am

    I have a fine for 50 dollars. They issued a warrent on me yesterday. If I go this morning and pay it will they lift the warrant?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on December 15, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Most courts will not lift your warrant unless you either turn yourself in and pay the bond or hire an attorney to lift the warrant for you. You can call the court clerk and ask if they will allow you to pay the fine even though they have already issued a warrant.

  5. Carlie on February 23, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    If I have a warrant in university city but court in Breckenridge hills if I go to court in Breckenridge hills will they arrest me for my warrant in university city?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on February 23, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      You should assume that the bailiff in Breckenridge Hills Municipal Court will run your name when you check in and will have you arrested when they see that you have an active warrant. Some courts arrest people who have active warrants in other courts, while other courts don’t check for warrants. You can hire an attorney to lift your warrant in U-City and also represent you in Breckenridge Hills Court and you won’t have to go to court at all.

  6. Yana on June 17, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I have a question if I have a warrant in summer ville and Berkeley for forgery one account in each country and I’m waiting for a court date in Chas county what should I do to get out

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on June 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

      The only way to get out of jail immediately is to pay the bond. Before you pay the bond where you are currently being held, you need to have someone pay the bond for you in every other place where you have warrants. Once you pay the bond where you are currently being held, they will send you to jail in each court where you have warrants unless someone pays your bond to lift the warrants for you.

  7. Stephanie on July 16, 2016 at 1:04 am

    I was arrested three years ago on a dui. I did not do the ten days initially. I recently called and paid all the fines and court costs. The probation officer set up a time and date for me to come in and turn myself in and do my ten days. I requested my ten days off work even. We discussed this and told me to be there and do my ten days. When I got there, they said they didn’t have room for me. So instead of taking me I’m, they said I would have to come back a week later and so ten days then.. That’s a month of missed work. I did my part and came when I was suppose to. They said they lifted the warrant, but to come back later? Can they do this?? I did what I was suppose to do, and what I was instructed to do. Like I said, I paid the fines and I tried to turn myself in. Should it not have been dropped at this point?? They aren’t even going to take me, they want to send me to another county?? Any suggestions?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on July 16, 2016 at 7:37 am

      The court sentenced you to 10 days in jail and you just chose not to do it? And then they didn’t issue a warrant immediately and take you to jail for disobeying the court’s order? That is amazing. You are very, very lucky. Yes, the court can tell you to come back later, and they can send you to jail in another county if they don’t have room for you.

  8. D.C on July 25, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Hello, I am being charged with a crime, they have issued an arrest warrant with an order for finger printing. First, I have been in this County before on another case(minor infarction) and they already have my fingerprints so I dont understand why they need to get them again? Two, before they issued the warrant, I had an officer contact me by phone asking me questions about the case and he stated they had this so called document in their possession and it was reported that I gave it to someone to defruad or mislead someone ( btw this officer was very unprofessional and it seemed that he just assumed my guilt), I told the officer no, no I didnt give anyone this so called forged document, and no, I absolutely did not make it. So my question is, if they all have is document that someone is claiming (hearsay) that I produced but have no substantial proof,is it enough or is it substantial evidence to charge me? It just hard for me to wrap my head around that they cam just charge someone with something all on hearsay.

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on July 26, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Yes, if the prosecutor believes what the victim says, that is enough for the Prosecutor to file criminal charges against you. There will be further investigation. The reason you are required to get fingerprinted is so they can confirm your identity and criminal history. You need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.

  9. Monique on July 31, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    I have a question. I received a letter from a collections agency saying I owed a fine for speeding in a school zone. I did get pulled over for the speeding in the school zone, however the officer informed me the paper he gave me was only a warning and I didn’t need to do anything else. Turns out they have a bench warrant now. What should I do I would have gladly paid my speeding ticker, but I didn’t even know I had one. Will this effect my record and how do I get it removed? I currently do not live in the state of Nevada anymore, which makes it more difficult.

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on August 1, 2016 at 8:38 am

      If you received a speeding ticket in Nevada, you need to consult a traffic law attorney who is licensed in Nevada. I am licensed to practice law in Missouri. If you hire a traffic law attorney who regularly practices in the city or county in Nevada where you received the ticket, the attorney may be able to lift your warrant and take care of the ticket for you without you having to go back to Nevada and appear in court.

  10. Timothy wayne Glover on August 2, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I missed my second court date issued by the Texas Attorney Generals Office on my child support case. Im currently as of now in no way a dead beat father and do pay my support fees. I am currently 2 months behind because work has been slow and haven’t had the money to pay it. The real issue is that can I get an attorney to get this warrant lifted. Im afraid of losing everything over an unforeseen issue that arose before my court date that kept me from making there.

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on August 4, 2016 at 7:57 am

      If you have a warrant in Texas, you need to hire an attorney who is licensed in Texas (preferably someone who practices in the city or county where your warrant was issued) to help you get the warrant lifted and to represent you for the underlying charges.

  11. Zach on August 8, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I owed my lawyer money and he ended up withdrawing from my case. I now have the 3000 to pay him, and he said he would re enter my case. I do have a warrant for failure to appear. My original bond agency forfeited the bond. On case.net is says i have a 2500 cash only bond. If i turn myself in with 2500 on me, will they book me and release me? My lawyers advice is to turn myself in with the cash bond in hand. Just wanting second opinion, don’t want to get tricked into being stuck in jail.

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on August 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      It depends on your criminal history. If you have warrants elsewhere for another case and you turn yourself in for this current case, the police will hold you in jail until they call that other court where you have a warrant to see if they want to come and pick you up and take you to their jail.

  12. Bobbi Jo on August 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Hello,
    I am on unsupervised probation for a disturbing the peace charge. I was not able to complete my community service and one class in the time frame ordered and now have a warrant for a violation of probation. There is no bond amount listed. I looked at my case in the Idaho repository to see if I could get additional information and it says, “warrant issued. Bench bond amount: ROR after 5 days jail”. Does this mean I turn myself in, spend five days in jail and then get released? Will I have to go back to court? They could have sentenced me up to 30 days but only ordered five with all options. Community service was the option i chose so because I didn’t complete it will I only serve the five days in jail and then be done? Thank you so much for any help!

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on August 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      If you violated probation in Idaho, you need to consult a criminal defense attorney who is licensed to practice in Idaho. I am licensed in Missouri.

  13. Angela on August 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

    There was a bench warrant issued on me on a case in barry co. Missouri, in which I had a lawyer, my lawyer had it dismissed n was working with the court for just about 2 yrs. I returned to Missouri to visit my new grandchildren n was pulled over for a broken tag light, the law enforcement that pulled me over used this warrant to search my vehicle in which my ex husband was driving in, they found drugs in which he brought into my vehicle with out my knowledge. After paying for another case for my lawyer to take care of, this also caused me to lose my job, my apartment and vehicle, the case was dropped on me after a new prosecutor came into office. My lawyer made a comment of the old prosecutor having it out for me as he did for other, because of my ex husband,(I had been divorced for him for just about 16 yrs) which is a life time drug criminal. What is there I can do, it wasn’t the first time it has accrued. I can’t even feel save enough to go visit my children n grandchildren with out worrying about being arrested for whatever. Advice please

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on August 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

      If you have an active warrant, the police can pull you over and search your car and take you to jail. I suggest that you either hire an attorney to lift the warrant for you or you can turn yourself in to police and pay the bond to lift the warrant. Then you will be given a new court date. At that point, you can either hire an attorney to represent you in court or go to court and represent yourself (although I do not recommend that option). Warrants never expire, so this problem is not going away until you take care of the warrant.

  14. Elisapeta on September 20, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Hi i need your help i have Active warrant in utah and i suppose to appear on court tomorow which is september 21 and i cant go cause im in texas right now on family emergency and trying to get it move in on day Reshule but they want me to come in but i cant cause im in utah and i known i have warrant already two months ago i got paper on mail said i have and outstanding warrant on my name but if i dont go tomorow are police honna look for me gain or the warrant will be reamain active??

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on September 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      It sounds like the Utah court sent you notice that if you don’t show up for court, they will issue a warrant. You can hire an attorney in Utah to go to court for you, or you can do nothing and the court will issue the warrant. Having a warrant will cause you trouble if you get pulled over in Texas for any traffic violation — the Texas police will see the warrant and may hold you until they contact Utah to see if they want to come and get you. Utah will most likely not go to Texas to pick you up if it’s just for a misdemeanor. Depending on what the underlying charge is for, the Utah police may come to your house looking for you if a warrant is issued. Or the Utah court may do nothing and just wait for you to be pulled over on a minor traffic violation in Utah, and then Utah police will take you to jail when they see that you have an active warrant.

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