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Arrest Warrants for Failure to Appear

When you sign a traffic ticket you are not admitting guilt.  Rather, you are signing a legal document in which you promise to contact the court, either by mail or in person, by the appearance date listed on the citation.  If you fail to contact the court by the appearance date, or if you miss a subsequent court setting, the judge will issue an arrest warrant and file a new Class C misdemeanor charge of Violation of Promise to Appear.  Once a warrant has been issued you are at risk of being arrested at home, at work, or if you are stopped by police for another traffic violation. 

The court will recall the warrant if you pay the full fine amount.  However, this may be your most expensive option since the court has now charged you with Failure to Appear and has likely added costly warrant and DPS fees.  In addition, paying these fines will ensure that all charges will be reported on your DPS driving record.

Bonding

Most courts will lift arrest warrants if you or your attorney post a cash bond or a "surety bond", which is similar to a bail bond except you are not being bailed out of jail.  Once the court accepts the bond, the warrant will be recalled and your case will be set for a pre-trial docket.  Once a case is set for a pre-trial, a plea bargain agreement can usually be worked out.  In many cases, plea bargains result in the dismissal of charges and significant fine reductions.

The Grace Law Office will post surety bonds in most Central Texas courts for a reasonable fee.  Call us at (512) 891-8000 to discuss your case.

DPS Omnibase

If you are charged with Failure to Appear, not only will the court issue a warrant but you will be reported to the DPS Omnibase system.  Once you have been reported to Omni, the DPS will not allow you to renew your Texas driver's license.  In addition, if your driver's license expires while an Omni hold is in place your driving privileges are suspended, putting you at risk of being arrested and jailed on a charge of Driving While License Suspended/Invalid.

If you suspect you have an Omni hold on you license due to a Failure to Appear call Omnibase at 1-(800) 686-0570 or the DPS at 1-(512) 424-2600.

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