What Should You Do If You Have Warrants From Traffic Tickets in St. Louis?
Traffic tickets are commonly issued in St. Louis, and people who do not pay their tickets can be at risk of having warrants issued for their arrest. If you believe there may be an active warrant for your arrest in Missouri, you will want to be sure you quickly contact a St. Louis traffic ticket lawyer.
Missouri traffic tickets affect many people all over the state, and there can be various reasons these citations go unpaid. When you work with traffic violation attorneys, you will be able to have somebody who can explain your case to a court and get a warrant recalled, so you do not have to face any risk of an embarrassing arrest.
Types of Warrants
There are generally two types of warrants in Missouri: arrest warrants and bench warrants. There are some minor differences between the two, although both can appear on criminal records and cause a wide variety of problems for alleged offenders.
An arrest warrant gives law enforcement agencies the authority to arrest a person, and a judge usually issues an arrest warrant when there is probable cause to believe a person named on an arrest warrant committed a crime. When the state issues a warrant for your arrest, police officers will immediately detain you and hold you for trial.
A bench warrant, on the other hand, usually relates to violations of court orders and means an alleged offender is in contempt of court. The bench warrant is much more common in traffic ticket cases, such as those where alleged offenders do not appear in court.
The Missouri courts website allows you to check the Case.net online system to see if you have an active warrant. The issue with Case.net is that the information may not be as current as the information you will get from an actual court, and not all municipal courts participate in Case.net.
The St. Louis government website also has a page concerning warrant resets, which allow people to have courts cancel their outstanding municipal court traffic and non-traffic warrants and reinstate their cases on a docket for hearing and disposition with no cash bond required and no questions asked. Both the City of St. Louis Municipal Court and the City of St. Louis Circuit Court participate in the warrant reset program.
How Warrants Work in Missouri
Warrants in Missouri are often the result of a person’s failure to pay court fines and other costs for a traffic ticket or for not following through on a payment plan established with the court. Failure to appear in court is another common reason why warrants are issued, although courts generally do not issue warrants until a person has missed a second court date.
When you hire a St. Louis traffic ticket attorney, you can usually get a warrant lifted and get a new court date instead of having to file a bond. Your case will then proceed like any other case, and your lawyer can get your charge amended or dismissed.
Certain courts in St. Louis County may require an attorney to enter their appearance and post bond. When a person has more than one warrant, the process may be more difficult.
In such cases, paying bond in one court can lead to a person being placed under arrest and sent to jail in another municipality. You will want to have a lawyer represent you to have every warrant lifted without a bond.
Warrants will not be specific to a given area. This means that if your warrant originates in St. Louis, you will not be able to avoid being arrested by simply avoiding St. Louis because the St. Louis warrant will show up anywhere in Missouri.
Posting bond ensures that you will show up for your next court date. Bond serves as a deposit to ensure your future attendance at court.
This means that if you post a bond of $300 in St. Louis Municipal Court and then hire an attorney to assist with your case, they may be able to get the case resolved favorably, with you only needing to pay a fine of $150. You can actually use your bond money to pay the fine and get a refund, so for the purpose of this example, you would get $150 back.
Call Us Today to Speak with a St. Louis Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Do you think that you might have an active arrest warrant in Missouri? You are going to want to be sure that you work with a St. Louis traffic ticket attorney.
Bruntrager & Billings, P.C understands how distressing it can be to know there is a warrant for your arrest, and our firm can work to get your warrant recalled so you do not have to worry about being arrested. You can call (314) 646-0066 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with our St. Louis traffic ticket lawyer.