Ideally, You Want to Avoid These
Video Transcript: What should you do if you end up with a failure to appear warrant? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I’m an Oklahoma lawyer with Wirth Law Office, and today I want to talk to you about dealing with a failure to appear warrant.
Ideally, you want to avoid these. If you’re ordered to be in court, in criminal court, show up to court. But if you screw up, you didn’t make it to court, okay, you got a practical problem on the ground. So what do you do? Well, first thing I can tell you is go surrender. Don’t drag it out. Don’t wait to get arrested. Because what can happen is, and I’ve seen this happen to people before where they have a warrant, they don’t take care of it, and they wind up getting popped on like a Friday night. The result is they sit in jail over the weekend until they can get arraigned on Monday and get a bond set. And depending on the type of warrant, there may not be a bond on the warrant.
So first thing I’m going to say is go surrender on it, get it taken care of. Now, what you should do most of the time for any kind of a criminal warrant that I’m going to acquire you to do what’s called a book and bond. So what that means is you actually have to go to the county jail, go get booked in, and then have someone there to bond you back out again.
So what you want to do, and to some extent how you handle this depends on what the warrant’s for and how much the bond is. And what the bond basically is, it’s a certain amount of money that you have to post as either as cash, property, or surety, which as surety is basically what you do when you have a bondsman, that is securing your appearance for whatever the charge is.
If it’s something minor, you can probably go to the jail with somebody like a relative or a friend who you trust, give them the money for the bond, go book yourself in, have them pay the bond, and then you’ll book right back out again. If you’re talking about something more serious where it’s a higher bond, then you should go there with a bondsman, make sure they’ve been paid up, and make sure that when you get booked in, they’re going to be there to get you back out again and be prepared to be there for a while.
The book in process takes time. I mean, you’re probably going to be there for an hour and a half, two hours to go through the entire process. And just to be candid with you, it’s going to suck. However, that’s what you need to do to take care of those kind of warrants.
One problem with getting a failure to appear warrant is it typically means you’re going to end up with a high bond because basically you’ve now proven you’re a potential flight risk. So what a lot of courts will routinely do with that is if you bond and then don’t show up to court, they’ll double and sometimes triple the bond. So let’s say you bond out on a $5,000 bond, and you fail to appear, they could take it to 15 and your bondsman may not be willing to go back on your bond, in which case you sit in jail.
So there’s a good reason not to miss court, but there is a way to handle that. You just need to be prepared for it and be prepared for the fact that bond’s probably going to be expensive.
Now if you are in that situation, one other thing you do need, any time you’re in criminal court is a good lawyer, and one place you can find a good Tulsa criminal defense attorney is at makelaweasy.com.