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How do I clear my minor traffic ticket warrant without going to jail?

Saint Charles, MO |

I was issued a traffic ticket for following too closely back in February 2012. I forgot all about it and didn't pay the fine or show up for court. The address on my licence was to my old apartment, so I never got the court rescheduling notices. I just found out that I have a warrant issued for my arrest with a $200 bond.

How do I get this taken care of without being arrested or appearing in court? Is it as simple as having someone go pay the fine for me?

My original fine is $50.50 + 57.50 court costs. I see on the web site that an additional $100 may be issued if there is a warrant involved.

I'm not sure how a bond works. Will I have to pay the $200 bond, PLUS the original fine PLUS late fees? I have no idea how much this is going to cost me. Any help is appreciated.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You should always hire an attorney to work on this situation. An attorney would know how to find the right person to call and what to file.

    There are things you could do yourself, but, in the end, it would still be confusing for you. You would save much mental anguish and time by just hiring an attoreny.

    Outside of those things you can do, you can pay the "200 bond" and then you'll be let out of jail. It's possible if you pay the ticket and court costs that you can dispose of the case without having to pay the bond or have the warrant served on you. That depends on the judge and the prosecutor.

  2. This is the type of case I see very often. At my firm, what I typically try to do is go to the court that issued the warrant and ask them to recall the warrant so that you don't get pulled over for, say, speeding but then get hauled into jail because you have a warrant out there. Then, I work with the prosecutor in that court to negotiate an outcome for the case that is consistent with your concerns, be they about your license, driving record, money, etc. Once you approve that outcome, you're all set. Throughout the process, you generally never have to appear in court. Rather, I appear for you until that final outcome is worked out, and quite often, you can then just mail in any plea form or money required. I hope this explanation of the process helps.

    John M. Eccher
    Ward, Hollingshead & Eccher

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  3. If you hire an attorney to get the warrant cancelled and obtain a new court date for you, then you won't have to pay the bond. (In some courts, they refuse to lift the warrant until the defendant pays the bond, but in many other courts, your attorney can lift the warrant and you won't have to pay the bond.)

    Then, if you want, you can plead guilty, pay the fine, court costs, and possibly a warrant fee, and 2 points will be added to your driving record. Keep in mind that, if you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your license will be suspended for 30 days, if it's your first suspension. If you accumulate 12 points on your driving record within 12 months, your license will be revoked for 1 year.

    Instead of pleading guilty, you can choose to hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to get your traffic ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction. You will have to pay a fine and court costs, and possibly a warrant fee, and the fine after the ticket is reduced will be higher than the original fine. However, you won't have to appear in court, you won't have to pay the bond (usually), and no points will be added to your driving record.

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