Do I have a warrant in Texas?
Perhaps you have not paid child support, have failed to appear in court for a mandatory hearing, or have failed to pay a DWI fine ordered by a judge. These are just a handful of the reasons why the police in Texas may issue a warrant for your arrest. If you fear a warrant has been issued, you could be arrested at home at any time or face the embarrassment of being arrested at work or school.
County and municipal governments can also issue arrest warrants. County arrest warrants are typically issued in cases involving Class A misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors, and felonies. While warrantless arrests are common when people are detained at the purported “scene of the crime,” arrest warrants are normally granted after some amount of police investigation. Warrants for a person’s blood are also becoming more regular in DWI cases.
A Texas warrant search can be conducted through the Department of Public Safety’s Criminal History Search program. Users can check the arrest records, case dispositions, and prosecutions of people arrested for offenses no less serious than Class B misdemeanors on the website.
Types of Warrants
A warrant might be of two types. The first type of warrant is an arrest warrant, which includes the more serious Class A and B warrants. Arrest warrants are also issued for persons who fail to appear in court to answer class C misdemeanor offenses such as traffic fines.
The second type of fine is a Capias Pro-fine, which is issued when court-ordered fines are not paid. When a warrant is issued, it is usually forwarded to the address listed on your ticket. In addition to the above-stated causes, arrest warrants are issued when:
- Within 11 days, there has been no response to the ticket.
- Mandatory Driving Safety Course is not completed, and the person has not demonstrated cause.
- Community service order was not followed by the individual.
- Probation terms were not met, resulting in probation revocation.
How to know if you have a Warrant
The simplest way to check for warrants is to conduct an online search and visit a website like www.publicrecords.onlinesearches.com. By selecting Texas and clicking on “warrants,” you can search the entire state or by county.
How Do I Check for County Warrants?
If you know which county has a warrant out for your arrest, look up the county’s official website. When you get to the county’s website, look for a search option for warrants.
Check for Warrants with Sheriff’s Office
You can check with the sheriff’s office by phone or in-person to determine if you have a warrant. If you go to the sheriff’s office, be prepared to be arrested. With luck, they will schedule a court date and release you. Simply show up for your court date to avoid receiving a warrant for failure to appear.
What NOT to Do When Checking for Warrants
You can go to the county Sheriff’s Office to find out if you have a warrant, but if you do, expect to be arrested right away. Even if you call the Sheriff’s Office rather than going in person, law enforcement officers may trace your call or request your location while you are on the phone. Do not tell the Sheriff’s Office anything. Expect law enforcement to arrive soon.
In the best-case situation, you are released after posting a bond and awaiting a court date set by the government, but you could potentially be imprisoned. This is why conducting an online search is the best option.
Texas Warrant Roundup
The Texas Warrant Roundup is an annual event held in February or March during which law enforcement agencies from across the state search for persons who have outstanding warrants. While Harris County, for example, may grant a week-long grace period, even if you are only paying a fee, unexpected consequences may emerge. You may receive points on your license, increased insurance premiums, and DMV surcharges depending on the offense. If you are called during the Texas Warrant Roundup, don’t just pay the fine; instead, get legal assistance as soon as feasible.
What is a roundup warrant?
You may get correspondence encouraging you to settle your outstanding balance during a two-week “grace period” if you have active arrest warrants for unpaid traffic citations, parking tickets, city code violations, Class C misdemeanors, and other fine-only infractions. It may appear to be a fantastic opportunity to avoid more serious fines, but there are unintended repercussions to “doing the right thing.”
Simply paying a traffic fine will:
- Put the citation on your driving record
- Result in points on your driver’s license (two for a moving violation)
- Trigger DMV surcharges (which could range from $100 to $250 per year, for three years)
- Cause higher insurance premiums
You can’t just hide your head in the sand if you’ve been contacted. At the very least, the state will suspend your driver’s license and charge you $30 to renew it. They’ll make it impossible for you to register your car or lawfully drive to work.
Rest assured, they’re looking for you in full force. If you are arrested, you will be required to pay a bail in the amount of your unpaid penalties in order to be released from jail. While you can engage a bondsman to assist you, he or she cannot represent you in court.
What Should I Do About an Active Warrant?
Regardless of whatever Texas city or municipality issued the Class C misdemeanor warrant for your arrest, an attorney can post a surety bond on your behalf and have your warrant removed in most situations within 24 hours. An attorney bond also usually prevents a Class C conviction by resuming your case in court, where an attorney will most likely be able to handle your problem in such a way that the ticket is erased and does not appear on your criminal record. Contact an attorney today to start clearing your name of active warrants.