If you’ve recently had a run-in with the law and you now have a warrant issued in your name, then your next step should definitely be to recall the warrant. That way, you can get some peace of mind and have the looming threat of arrest finally taken over your head.
So, how much time does it take to recall a warrant? And once you have it recalled, what should your next step be? If you’re interested in finding out all this more, make sure to continue reading.
What is a Warrant?
Quite simply, a warrant is a document issued by an official, typically in law or the government, which authorizes law enforcement to perform certain acts in the name of accomplishing justice.
Now, there isn’t a one-all-be-all warrant that the police can brandish whenever they need to perform a certain action. There are actually three different types of warrants, each with a specific purpose in mind.
First, we’ve got the “arrest warrant,” which authorizes law enforcement to arrest you for an initial criminal charge. Second, we have the “search warrant,” which gives law enforcement the authority to search your person, car, home, or property.
Now, while these two warrants are regularly issued, the third and final warrant, i.e., the “bench warrant,” is typically the most commonly encountered warrant ever. This slip of paper gives law enforcement permission to arrest you for failing to make a court appearance, pay a fine, or perform a court-mandated order.
In case you didn’t know, a bench warrant is usually issued by a judge (though it can also be issued by the state), and since the judge sits on the bench, the warrant earned its name of “bench warrant.”
So, what exactly happens if you’re arrested for a bench warrant?
Well, to put it simply, you’ll be taken by law enforcement to the court commissioner, who’ll then proceed to review your case and background. He’ll then decide whether to release you until your hearing date with a judge or keep you in custody.
How Long Does It Take to Recall a Warrant?
Thankfully, not that long. The process usually takes a week or so, which is the time needed for your lawyer to draft the motion to recall the warrant, file it with the proper court, and wait for the judge to make a ruling.
Typically, the judge considers the motion and makes his final decision in an average of seven business days, though that amount can vary from place to place and from case to case.
Nevertheless, once the ruling is out and the motion is granted, you’ll get a summons with an order to appear in court at a later date, which is the court’s way of notifying you of their decision.
So, now that you know how much time it takes to recall a warrant, let’s take a look at the different types of warrants and how each one will affect the recall process.
What Does Recalling a Warrant Mean?
Basically, recalling or quashing a warrant means that you reverse or cancel the judge’s authorization to arrest you, and interestingly enough, this action can only be done by the same judge who issued the warrant in the first place.
So, when you get a warrant recalled, law enforcement won’t have any reason to take you into custody, and they’ll let you be.
However, recalling a warrant doesn’t mean that you’re done with the matter. You’ll still get a summons to appear in court at a later date and stand before a judge to face the consequences of your actions. In essence, you’re simply putting off going to jail.
Accordingly, the first thing that any person with a warrant should do is contact a lawyer to have the warrant recalled. Otherwise, you’ll be taken into custody and will have to pay hefty bail fees in order to be released.
How To Recall A Warrant
As we previously mentioned, the first thing you should do is get in contact with an experienced lawyer, preferably a criminal defense attorney. You should then relate the story behind the warrant, giving him any related documents or information that can shed better light on the reason for the warrant.
From then on, the lawyer will put in a motion to quash the warrant, explaining to the judge why the warrant should be recalled or why you’ve failed to comply with the judge’s orders. Honestly, just showing to the judge that you’re taking your charges seriously can help you get the warrant recalled.
Of course, depending on your case, you may or may not be required to appear in court with your lawyer, but the gist is the same, which is giving the judge a valid reason for your previous non-compliance.
The fate of your warrant will then generally rest on whether you can perform the action that made the court issue the warrant when you ignored it.
That can be anything from paying a fine/fee to making a required court appearance. It can also be making restitution, post bail, meeting your probation officer, or showing proof that you’re fulfilling your court-ordered program or counseling.
To sum it up, if you’re able to do the things that the court has demanded of you, then you can get your warrant recalled and go home a free bird. However, if they fail to comply, then the chances of recalling the warrant go out the window.
How Do the Different Types of Warrants Affect the Recall Procedure?
Well, if you’ve got a search warrant, then you’re out of luck. There’s usually not much you can do in terms of recalling it, and law enforcement will almost always execute it. The only thing you can do is challenge the warrant in court on the off chance that your case is filed using evidence acquired from the search.
However, bench warrants and arrest warrants are different matters.
In regards to arrest warrants, the recall procedure will slightly differ according to whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor.
As for felony arrest warrants, you must appear with your lawyer in court when trying to quash the warrant. You may also be required to post bail in order to stay out of jail, even if the judge agrees to quash the warrant. And if you’re facing a felony probation violation, then you’ll be taken into custody until you pass your probation violation hearing.
However, that isn’t always the case. The judge can release you without having to post bail on the condition you return to court whenever you’re ordered, aka an “O/R Release.”
Alternately, misdemeanor arrest warrants are much simpler. Your lawyer can simply appear in your place in court and perform all the necessary steps needed to recall the warrant. The only time when you may need to appear is when the judge specifically orders you to be present, which is generally done when he needs to impose a sentence or serve an order.
Does Failure to Appear in Court for a Traffic Ticket Result in a Bench Warrant?
Well, yes and no. It depends on the type of ticket you got.
There are two types of traffic tickets; “Payable” and “Must Appear.”
Payable tickets are usually given in cases like speeding or texting while driving, and failing to appear for this type of ticket will NOT result in a bench warrant. Instead, the MVA will simply suspend your driver’s license until you make amends.
On the other hand, ignoring “Must Appear” tickets will make the court issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Then, once you’re arrested, you’ll be required to pay a bail set by the commissioner so that you can finally go home.
Can You Wait Out a Warrant?
Nope. Both bench and arrest warrants have no expirations dates, lasting for as long as you shall live. The only way to make them go away is for you to get arrested for the judge to recall or drop the warrant.
So, given the option between staying in hiding, getting arrested, and hiring a lawyer to recall the warrant, I’d say the last option is definitely the most appealing of the three.
Warrants are never a good thing to have, be it a bench warrant or an arrest warrant. Basically, they’re a ticket to jail, and who wants that?
Thankfully though, you can recall the warrant issued in your name by getting yourself a good lawyer. Not only will he help you understand why the warrant was issued, but he’ll also enable you to stay out of prison until you’re in a better position to navigate the legal issues you’ve come across.
And fortunately, it doesn’t take that long to recall a warrant, only a week or so. So, call up your lawyer, tell him your situation, and get that warrant quashed as soon as you can. Otherwise, you’re looking at surrendering yourself or waiting to be arrested.