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Will I get arrested for showing up to court to try to deal with a bench warrant due to driving on a suspended license?

Merced, CA |

My license was suspended due to not paying traffic tickets, a speeding ticket and a ticket for not having proof of license or insurance(although I legally had both at the time). I need to clear up my warrant before my new job will let me start working. Can I talk to a judge and maybe work out payment arrangements to at least get my warrant taken care of? I need to work in order to pay the fines but a lot of jobs don't want to hire because of the warrant- it keeps going around and around!!

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Attorney answers 4


Most courts have a process where you add yourself to the calendar to take care of outstanding warrants. If you call the clerk's office often there will be a menu option to choose related to recalling warrants. If not get to a live clerk who will tell you how to do this. With traffic tickets and the like you should have no problems getting the warrant recalled and getting yourself on a payment plan for the outstanding tickets.

Every case is different. Specific facts of your case must be applied before relying on an answer to a general question. The answer given here is a general statement of the law on the issue that you presented in your question.


The chances of being arrested decrease dramatically if you retain an attorney to appear on your behalf because you won't need to appear which means you aren't there to be arrested. In addition, the bench warrant will be recalled, thus take care of. Good luck.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


The answer to whether you will be arrested is probably not. As one of the prior attorneys answering this question commented, hiring an attorney to appear for you is a good idea. If the attorney is in the courthouse regularly, it is likely that the judge will lift the warrant, removing it from your record. However, the judge will ask the attorney to enter a plea to the driving without a license or proof of insurance case, which are misdemeanors (not really just a traffic ticket). This will mean your attorney will then want to show the prosecutor the insurance and license with a date showing each were valid on the date of the ticket. You may be lucky enough to have the case dismissed or reduced to an infraction with payment of a fine. As to payment of the fine associated with the speeding ticket, talk to the court clerk. You may be able to work something out if the fine has not been referred to collections.


One hint do not drive to the court as some judges will send an officer out to see if you leave driving.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.

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