2018 Great Texas Warrant Roundup Guide

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The Texas Warrant Roundup Lawyer

By: James Brandon Gaines, Texas Attorney - Last update: May 1st, 2018

Every year the invites are mailed out to anyone with a warrant for the gala better known as the “Great Texas Warrant Roundup”.

The Texas Warrant Roundup is an annual collaboration of courts and law enforcement agencies to go out and arrest anyone with a misdemeanor warrant at their home, school, or work. Each year, “more than 100,000 warrants are cleared with the Great Texas Warrant Roundup”, officials have stated. There have been over 144,134 warrants lifted annually, and as much as $29 million collected in fines.

The fear of being arrested at school or work incentivizes most people to just pay the court directly. We will discuss that more later, just know for now that it may not be the best idea. Whether or not your warrant is from a participating jurisdiction doesn't matter if you have a ticket warrant from anywhere. It’s your responsibility to know if you have a warrant, and this information might just keep you from being surprised during Roundup season.


When you received your Roundup notice, the first question you asked was:

What is “Amnesty”, really?

Amnesty means the court will let you come in during a certain period to pay off your outstanding citation and they won’t arrest you. They will usually waive your “warrant fees” as well, which are generally less than $50.

(Note: Warrant fees are NOT the same as a Failure to Appear. Warrant fees are generally less than $50. 'Failure to Appear' is a separate charge that ranges between $250-$500. If the warrant fees are waived, this does NOT waive the FTA.)

In other words, if you pay the court directly, you will: 1) pay the full amount of the ticket, 2) which will go on your record as a conviction, 3) and any Failure to Appear charge and it’s associated costs will remain. But the court will waive your warrant fees, sometimes. This is what is known as the “Amnesty” period during the Roundup. A better option may be to contest the ticket with an attorney.

What We Do:

We will get your warrant lifted immediately. Then, once the warrant is quashed, an attorney will negotiate your ticket with the prosecutor, to get you the best outcome possible. The primary goal is to get your ticket dismissed.

We will fight your ticket to ensure your record is protected. Our attorneys have successfully defended thousands of tickets, and protected just as many jobs and careers. We advise that you do not pay or enter a plea of guilty on your ticket until you speak to us first.




How We Work

1

Submit your Ticket

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2

Attorney Consult

Your attorney handles your ticket from start to finish, and keeps you updated along the way. The average case takes 1-2 months.

3

Hire and Done!

Simply review and sign your attorney's contract online, pay the agreed fee, and your attorney will begin work immediatley.


We Get Warrants Lifted

Where do warrants come from?

The Judge usually issues a warrant for your arrest if you miss your court date for a ticket, even without notice. People often find out about their warrant the hard way: with an unexpected visit from the sherriff. Warrants that are issued by any municipality in the state of Texas are valid throughout the state. Either way, ignoring the fine and dates to respond will lead to a warrant in your name and the risk of being arrested once the Texas Warrant Roundup begins, or at any other time.

Once you are in this situation, your drivers license may be suspended and there may be additional penalties. This "Failure to Appear" (FTA) is often added as a separate charge as well, totalling between $250 and $500 in addition to the original ticket. Texas law specifically states: “In a misdemeanor case for which the maximum possible punishment is by fine only, payment of a fine or an amount accepted by the court constitutes a finding of guilty in open court as though a plea of nolo contendere had been entered by the defendant and constitutes a waiver of a jury trial in writing".

How to lift warrants, the Bad:

Just paying the ticket at the court window is the single worst way to get your warrant lifted.

Paying off a traffic ticket at the court window is the equivalent of entering a plea of guilty or no contest: it goes on your record. Any payment received is considered a plea of guilty on the offense in Texas, just as if you went to trial and were found guilty by a jury. Pleading guilty or no contest requires you to pay the ticket in full, along with any warrant fees, FTA fees, DPS fees, etc.

Jail time in lieu of paying the ticket: Some people ask to "sit out" their traffic ticket violation. This is an even worse idea than just paying the ticket. Once a person chooses to do jail time, it is considered a conviction, which stays on their record. DPS is then notified of the conviction and a surcharge can be assessed against the driver. A person can end up owing more in surcharges to DPS, than before they ever did any jail time. Just don't do it.

How to lift warrants, the Good:

Hire an attorney.

An attorney will not only get the warrant lifted immediately, but will then enter a plea of "Not Guilty" on your behalf. Your attorney will fight the ticket with the goal to get it dismissed.

Warrants never expire. If you received a ticket in some town you forgot about however long ago, it probably lead to a warrant which still exists. While not exhaustive, you can check for any Texas warrants at the Texas Failure to Appear database. Simply search for yourself and let us know if anything pops up.

Warrant Consequences: DPS Surcharges

Even after you pay off your ticket, it is possible that Texas DPS will then order you to pay more money, known as "Conviction Surcharges". Certain violation convictions will lead to automatic surcharges: driving without insurance, driving while license invalid, or driving without a license. These surcharges ranging from $100 to $250 per year, for three years. The surcharge program requires courts who convict people of traffic offenses to report those offenses directly to DPS. It's easy to see how surcharges can send a person into a tailspin, and they can't climb out.

You will also be ordered to pay surcharges if you accumulate a total of 6 points or more on your driving record during a 3 year period. This surcharge is $100 for the first 6 points and $25 for each additional point. Surcharges are assessed annually and the amount of the charge can vary each year based on your driving record status. You will be assigned 2 points on your license under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program.

An attorney will resolve your fine efficiently and professionally. If you are an out-of-state or out-of-county driver, an attorney will also save you from having to appear in court.

The Special Warrant: Capias

If a traffic warrant has been issued for you after you failed to pay your traffic ticket or appear in front of the judge as promised, it is likely a capias warrant. Capias warrants can be issued for those who made arrangements to pay their fines then neglected to do so, or those who failed to appear for a hearing, usually after a bond was posted and a new court date was set.

If you have agreed to make payments on your tickets and fines, then you must do so. Whatever you have basically agreed to must be done or you will be under threat of a capias warrant and could be arrested. Your attorney will post a traffic bond on your behalf so you can avoid the threat of arrest, then will negotiate on your behalf to lessen the impact of your original tickets.

Let's Get Your Warrant Lifted, Today

Ticket Practice Areas

Speeding

If you received a speeding or reckless driving ticket through Lubbock County, just let us know immediately, as this is a moving violation which can effect your ability to drive.

Warrants

The 2018 Great Texas Warrant Roundup is right around the corner. If you have a warrant, we can get it lifted immediately.

Insurance

If you didn't have insurance, or just didn't have proof of insurance at the time, let us know immediately. Insurance violations are reported directly to Texas DPS.

Failure to Appear

Texas courts don't like no-shows, so if you've missed your deadline, we can handle that for you.

Invalid Drivers License

If you have an expired Texas drivers license (DWLI), or no license at all, our attorneys will can negotiate the penalty.

CDL

When you have a commercial drivers license, a traffic ticket is a far more serious matter. We fight to protect your CDL and keep the points off, because we know that it is your career at stake.

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