Found out I have a warrant from a traffic court date 7 years ago. Called the clerk and she said I have to turn myself in. This is my first offense.
What is likely is that you had a traffic infraction, missed court and were found guilty in your absence. The jurisdiction where the offense occurred and was prosecuted is likely looking to collect, but that depends on the nature of the offense. If this was a reckless driving charge, this wasn't a simple traffic offense but a class 1 misdemeanor that has the potential to carry jail time with a conviction. You should seek local counsel where the underlying offense took place, and request a consultation. Many local criminal defense and traffic attorneys do conduct free initial consultations. In a meeting with a lawyer you will be able to provide more details and the attorney will be able to provide more guidance.
It would surprise me if a warrant was issued for you missing a court date for a simple traffic infraction. I suspect you were charged with some sort of criminal offense, as opposed to a traffic infraction, and a warrant was issued for your failure to appear in court on the criminal offense.
In my experience, whether the client is released after turning himself/herself in on the warrant, depends on a variety of factors, but it has always seemed to help to be represented by an experienced, respected and successful Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney and have the attorney assist with the "turning in", and hopefully bonding out, process.
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