How to quash your warrant in Washington State courts.
When can the court issue a bench warrant?
The court can issue a warrant for your arrest in several circumstances. Most commonly a warrant as the result of missing a criminal court case hearing. If you have signed for a court date, or have been properly summonsed under the Washington Court Rules, the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest. A warrant can also be issued in certain civil cases, such as contempt of court, if you have failed to respond or meet the conditions set by a civil order. If you have been subpoenaed as a witness in a criminal case the court can order a warrant for your arrest in order to secure your presence in court.
How do I find out if I have a warrant?
Many jurisdictions have online databases to look up active warrants (links to some of those below). You can also call the attorney who represented you on the case, the court that would have issued the warrant. or any law enforcement agency Many criminal defense attorneys have access to Judicial information systems and can look up this information for you as well.
Why is my warrant so much?
The court is required to look at two things when issuing a warrant. Whether the bail ordered will secure your presence in court and sufficiently protect the community. The more sever the charges and the more times you have failed to appear in court, the higher bail will likely be. If you have failed to report for a commitment, are on DOC probation or the crime is a capital offense, the court can issue a "no bail" warrant.
Why should I quash my warrant?
The longer you avoid the court, the less likely it is that you will be released when you are arrested. Courts are not very impressed with people that disappear for years. On the other hand, if you go to the court on your own as quickly as possible, before you get arrested, the court is more likely to believe that you will show up again. In addition, you will have employment, licensing and housing problems as long as you have a warrant. Washington State DOL can suspend your driver's license (and this suspension will be honored by almost every other State). Background checks for employment almost always include active warrants. It can be difficult to get housing and services if you have a warrant. Finally, you will never be arrested at a convenient time, creating new problems for you when they do catch up with you.
Will I be arrested if I'm in a different City or State?
You can be arrested anywhere with an active warrant. The real question is whether the court that issued the warrant will come get you. You may have to sit in jail for a few days until you find out. Generally, how far courts will go to retrieve you depends on the nature of the crime. It is very rare that they will transport you 100 miles for a driving while license suspended, while they will probably come get you from a foreign country for murder. Ultimately it's up to each court to decide if it's worth the time and money. If you are not extradited, it does not make the warrant go away.
Does my warrant ever go after a certain time limit?
For all practical purposes warrants do not go away with time. Statute of limitation laws do not apply once a warrant is issued. While warrants do expire they are almost always automatically renewed by the court before expiration and remain in place forever.
How do I quash my warrant?
This depends on the court and the charge. The easiest way is to post the bail amount and get new court dates assigned. You will have to show up to those dates or the court will issue a higher bail warrant the next time. You can also contact your attorney and set a motion to quash. In some cases the attorney will be able to get the warrant removed and new court dates without your having to appear. Many courts will allow you to quash warrants on your own. For example, in Everett Municipal, if you don't have a long warrant history, you can pay a $100 warrant quash fee and you will get new dates to appear. Finally, you can turn yourself in. You can then explain to the judge why you missed court and ask for your release. You should consult with your attorney before doing this, so that you have a good plan for obtaining release.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.