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You Don't Have to Go to Jail With an Active Warrant... Here's How

 Posted on May 01, 2019 in Warrants

If you found out about an active warrant for your arrest, you may have a hundred thoughts running through your mind. For what? Is the Dallas Police Department (DPD) looking for you? Can you drive?

Before anything, you must know exactly why you have a warrant, and what it's for. Depending on who you are, you may know exactly what it's for. Other times, it may simply be due to forgetting to pay a ticket (which is common). Before you take any steps towards trying to resolve this situation, you must know the details of your warrant. Some examples of key information you need to know are:

  • Why you have a warrant
  • When it became effective
  • Which district, county, or state it applies

While your warrant notice (the letter) states all the above information, it never hurts to learn more. With your unique case number (as stated in the letter), you can find your detailed records either online or over the phone.

Contact Your Records Department

To find all the details about your current legal status (and important records), contact your county clerk's office. Many forget to use this vital resource when dealing with legal issues, as it holds the complete legal record of each citizen within its jurisdiction. By Googling 'county clerk,' you'll be able to pull up the nearest records department to you, and all the ways you can contact them.

You can find all the information you need by requesting your files and records online, or by calling them. If you call, have your letter (with your case number) ready; this will get you to where you need to be faster. If you don't have your case number or warrant notice handy, you can still use your birthdate and other identifiers to access your records.

  • For the Dallas County Clerk's office: click here to visit or call (214) 653-7099
  • For the Denton County Clerk's office: click here to visit or call (940) 349-2012
  • For the Collin County Clerk's office: click here to visit or call (972) 548-4185

When you contact them, ask how you can resolve your warrant. They will inform you of your available options, if any. According to your situation, you may be able to simply pay off your warrant; this is especially the case if your warrant is due to an unpaid fine or ticket. However, if your warrant is due to a violent crime such as assault or a hit-and-run, it won't be that simple. We'll explain further below what your available options are, if that's the case.

RELATED: How to Tell Your Boss About Your Arrest Safely

Pay Off Your Warrant

If you're able to, pay off your warrant. This is the most effective way to put this behind you and rid yourself of any unnecessary stress. Your county clerk's office is able to give you the exact amount you owe, down to the penny. If it's something you can handle, we highly recommend just ripping that bandaid off. However—and depending on your case—you may not have that option (this depends on your criminal record and original crime). The county clerk's office will inform you of what your available options are, if there are any.

If the warrant is in fact something you can pay, but just can't at this moment, inform the county clerk. They will give you a list of any available payment options for you, which include being set up on a payment plan.

Set Up a Payment Plan

All of us—well, most of us—have realized by now that living in Dallas and North Texas isn't exactly cheap (if you're in Collin County, you especially know what we mean). Thankfully, you can rest easy knowing your wallet is spared with the option of a warrant payment plan.

In fact, a majority of warrant cases in Dallas, Denton, and Collin County allow payment options (for nonviolent crimes); yours included. When you contact your county clerk's office, ask them about any and every available payment option. Initial deposit requirements vary depending on your case and the county you're in; when you express your intent to pay, they'll let you know what the conditions are.

If you don't have access to a phone or can't make calls (or simply don't want to talk to someone), you can still find this information online. Your county clerk's website typically lists what financial options are available to pay off your warrant, if any. Additionally, they provide important contact information and ways to request your personal files or paperwork.

RELATED: The 3 Ways to Get a Bail Bond—Without Cash

Check if Deferred Disposition is an Option

Depending on your case and crime, you may be eligible for deferred disposition. Typically, your county clerk's representative will inform you of any deferred disposition options available to you, but it's always good to check. If you haven't heard of this before, it's basically a way to remove the crime—and your warrant—from your criminal record. If it sounds like there's a catch, guess what? There is (kinda).

For instance, you can only apply for deferred disposition before your court date (or the day of), and you must plead either guilty or no contest There are other restrictions; the website we provided above lists what those are, depending on your area.

  • For Dallas County's deferred disposition application form, click here.
  • For Collin County's deferred disposition application form, click here.
  • For Denton County's deferred disposition application form, click here.

If you're eligible and the judge approves, you'll be given a list of conditions to meet before a certain deadline; these usually include driver's courses, probation, and any crime-specific program applicable to your situation. If you meet all the requirements and complete your deferred disposition, your original crime will be cleared off your record... and your insurance.

If All Else Fails, Hire a Lawyer

If your warrant is due to a particularly heinous crime such as assault, violating probation, a hit-and-run, or anything violent, your options are extremely narrow. In fact, hiring a lawyer may be the only thing you can do in order to make an informed decision. There are many ways to find affordable legal advice, and seek reputable attorneys for your case.

Speaking of affordability, many fail to recognize this one huge asset: bail bonds companies. If you think about it, bail bonds companies work with both the county courts and the legal system on a daily basis. They have the intimate experience working with people dealing with legal issues every single day, and have tremendous insight into how the court system operates. Oh, and one more thing... it's completely free.

RELATED: Wrongfully Accused: A Real Problem Bail Can Help Solve

For Free Advice, Call the Doc

Dallas is home to Doc's Bail Bonds, an honest and reputable bail bonds company with over 27 years of experience working with North Texas residents in Dallas as well as Denton and Collin County. We understand that a consultation with an attorney is expensive; which is why we offer free consultations and legal advice. The best part? You don't have to make an appointment or wait for proper business hours; Doc's Bail Bonds is open 24/7, ready to help whenever you need it.

While it's true our legal advice can't exactly reach the extent of an attorney's legal advice, we've worked with Dallas County's court system long enough to be able to offer extremely valuable insight. Also, it never hurts to try the free option first.

For a free consultation on your warrant or to simply speak with one of our agents, call us or visit our office today—we're always ready to help.

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