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What to do about an active bench warrant for failure to appear due to traffic violation?

Louisville, KY |

Can this be resolved by taking care of it yourself or do you need legal counsel? My friend completely forgot his court date for a traffic violation (failure to come to a complete stop and not having proof of current insurance) and remembered that same day but after the fact. He found out the judge issued a bench warrant for him and he is attempting to go to court clerk to pay the fines and get it resolved by himself. He has proof of insurance and money to pay but I have a bad feeling that they may arrest him when appears at the clerk to try to handle it himself.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Sometimes an attorney can help a person resolve a bench warrant without the person going to jail. Contact a Kentucky traffic or criminal defense attorney.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.


  2. His best bet would be hire local counsel that is familiar with the judge. He may be able to get the warrant recalled and resovle the case.


  3. Every State (and likely even different jurisdictions within the same State) have different rules and procedures for dealing with these issues.

    In Miami, where I primarily practice, we have 2 types of traffic cases, infractions (TI) and criminal traffic (CT). If you miss a TI court date then your license gets suspended, whereas if you miss a CT then a warrant is issued (there is a big difference between a suspended DL and a bench / arrest warrant namely, if you get popped on the first you get a new ticket and if you get picked-up on the second you go to jail).

    Again, I don't know anything about KY, but to have a warrant set aside in Miami you only have 2 choices: 1) surrender, be booked and post bond if possible or 2) set the case on the Judge's calendar pursuant to a written motion to set-aside the warrant, appear and beg and grovel (most local Judges will set aside FTA - failure to appear - warrants on CT cases without asking any questions at all, but, as they say, "on any given Sunday".... anything can happen).

    I almost never suggest that civilians (non-lawyers) deal with Judges (or prosecutors) without the assistance, guidance and counsel of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. While I have no idea what the rules or procedures are in Louisville, KY I still strongly suggest that you counsel your friend to contact a local Louisville, KY criminal defense lawyer and arrange to have the warrant dealt with immediately.

    Either way best of luck!

    First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)


  4. Hire a criminal defense attorney to locate the case, redocket it, set aside the bench warrant, appear with proof of insurance ( card and confirmation from insurance company on their letterhead that client was covered on the date of the citation) and resolve the case. www.kacdl.net

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

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