If you’re completely responsible, this will never happen to you. But if you are a recovering procrastinator and you get a ticket, it may get you into trouble and could land you in jail.
Life is busy. There’s much to be done. Competing interests are vying for your time and attention. You got a ticket on the way home from work the other day. It was 43 in a 35 zone. Not serious. You’ll pay it out and go on with life, even though you were sure you were going the speed limit.
The court date comes and goes, and you tell yourself, I’ll call in a day or two to take care of the ticket, but as the days roll on, with everything going on, you forget.
What you don’t know is that in the background of this process, when you didn’t attend court, the judge issued something called a bench warrant. The bench warrant gives the police the right to arrest you and take you to jail if they find you.
Types of Warrants
Bench warrant…what’s that? There are basically three types of warrants to be concerned with.
A search warrant allows police to search your premises; this may include your house, a storage facility, your vehicle, place of employment, or other premise, if there is probable cause of your involvement in a criminal matter, and they are looking for evidence to support a possible criminal investigation against you.
An arrest warrant is issued during the early stages of a criminal investigation once probable cause can be established. This could be issued as the result of an indictment being handed down from a grand jury, or it could happen when police and the prosecutor have found probable cause, or evidence of criminal activity. Under this warrant, law enforcement will actively search for your whereabouts and will take you to jail.
The third warrant is the bench warrant. It is called a bench warrant because a judge issued the warrant from “the bench” during an actual court proceeding. If you have not appeared in court, and were legally required to be there due to a summons, or citation, a bench warrant can be issued by the judge of the court. If you were scheduled for traffic court, you can count on a bench warrant being issued for you, if you don’t appear. In most cases, unless required by the warrant, police will not actively seek you out, but will arrest you if you are found under any other matter. If you are stopped for a traffic violation, or any other situation where you identify yourself to police, if a warrant is outstanding, you will be taken to jail.
So 4 or 5 months later, you now remember that ticket you didn’t pay, and the warrant, which has no expiration date is executed by police and you are now sitting in the back of a police vehicle with hands cuffed behind your back, on the way to jail. Depending on what time of day you’re taken in, you may be able to avoid spending the night there, but if it’s late in the day, relax, in the morning you’ll call Ticket Busters (702) 666-6666, and you’ll be able to get bailed out.
Ticket Busters can help
The much smarter thing to do, as you’re reading this, is to call Ticket Busters now and we will be able to check if there are any open warrants with your name on them now. Ticket Busters can file a motion to quash or suspend any open warrants that have your name on them while you make arrangements to settle the matter. Keep in mind, however, until the judge issues the order to quash the open warrant, you are in jeopardy of being arrested.
Tickets are nothing to be taken for granted. The court does not take lightly missing a court date, or failing to appear even for traffic matters. Even for a small ticket, if you fail to take it seriously, and don’t show up for court, a bench warrant will be issued, and if you and the police cross paths in the future, you will be arrested. Call us today at (702) 666-6666. We can do a warrant search of the various municipalities in the valley, and file a motion to quash any existing warrants.