There is a warrant for my arrest. What do I do?
A warrant is not the end of the world, but it cannot be ignored. If you have an active warrant, you must take action in order to avoid an untimely arrest.
DO NOT IGNORE ITA warrant will not go away no matter how long you ignore it. Every day that your warrant is active is a day that you could unexpectedly be taken into custody.
MAKE A PLAN TO GET THE WARRANT RECALLEDOne option is to hire an attorney to approach the prosecutor and judge "off docket" for an order recalling the warrant on the spot and setting you a new court date. Another option is to go on your own to the courthouse and set up a Bench Warrant Recall hearing. This is risky, as it is possible to be taken into custody if you encounter law enforcement at the courthouse. Once you have your slip with your hearing date on it, keep the slip on your person at all times until your hearing. The warrant will be active until your hearing, but if you encounter law enforcement they are unlikely to arrest you on the warrant if they see proof that you have a Bench Warrant Recall hearing scheduled.
SHOW UP FOR THE HEARINGIf you have set a Bench Warrant Recall hearing, you must appear in-person. If you fail to appear (FTA) you diminish your chances of getting the warrant recalled. If your attorney has been able to set a new court date for you, again, SHOW UP. If you get a warrant recalled, only to FTA at future hearings (resulting in another warrant), you will lose credibility and goodwill with the court and the prosecutor.
BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHINGJust because you have set a Bench Warrant Recall hearing does not mean that the warrant will be recalled. At the hearing, the judge will consider many factors such as how long you have been on warrant status, your warrant history, your underlying charge, and your behavior while on warrant status. If the judge does not recall your warrant, then you will be booked into jail straight from the courtroom. The judge will usually set a bond before you are booked, so you can be released if you can post bond. This is not the ideal outcome of these hearings, but it is much easier to face if you are prepared for the possibility. It is a good idea to bring someone you trust to these hearings. This person can tie up loose ends for you by doing things such as moving your car, notifying employers or family members, and contacting a bondsmen in the event that you are taken into custody.