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  1. #1
    dklittl is offline Junior Member
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    Jun 2003
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    Unhappy Anyway to avoid being booked on a bench warrant?

    What is the name of your state? Georgia
    The matter is in Dekalb County.

    I have an apartment in Ga, but was working out of town for the last 6 months. I had a check book stolen, and my account was closed. I didn't properly account for one check and of course it bounced but I wasn't aware of it at the time. Apparently a bench warrant was filed for my arrest, but I happened to find out about the check and payed the check back to the company. I had a recent background check that turned up the warrant, and I called and they said that I would have to be booked at the Sherrif's office and bailed out. I'm just graduated from law school, so I'm not ignorant to the law but I have no idea how to get out of this with out having to go to jail.

    I'm wondering if anyone has seen this issue and knows how to proceed in settling the warrant, without having to be booked. Like I said, I paid the debt which was only for $125 (so a small claims misdemeanor offense) but I'm sure that there has to be a way to just go to a judge and pay the court costs. Any advice would be helpful.
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    38,165

    Re: Anyway to avoid being booked on a bench warrant?

    Originally posted by dklittl
    What is the name of your state? Georgia
    The matter is in Dekalb County.

    I have an apartment in Ga, but was working out of town for the last 6 months. I had a check book stolen, and my account was closed. I didn't properly account for one check and of course it bounced but I wasn't aware of it at the time. Apparently a bench warrant was filed for my arrest, but I happened to find out about the check and payed the check back to the company. I had a recent background check that turned up the warrant, and I called and they said that I would have to be booked at the Sherrif's office and bailed out. I'm just graduated from law school, so I'm not ignorant to the law but I have no idea how to get out of this with out having to go to jail.

    I'm wondering if anyone has seen this issue and knows how to proceed in settling the warrant, without having to be booked. Like I said, I paid the debt which was only for $125 (so a small claims misdemeanor offense) but I'm sure that there has to be a way to just go to a judge and pay the court costs. Any advice would be helpful.

    My response:

    Counselor, as you know, or should know, it is in your best interests to have your day in court. Telling us this story is worthless - - you should be telling a judge. You have two choices - -

    1. Turn yourself in voluntarily, or

    2. Wait until you're stopped on a traffic infraction.

    The latter choice is NOT what you want. You'll be cuffed, arrested, and summarily jailed. Your car will be impounded, and you'll have more fees and fines than you can shake a stick at.

    Look, get this cleared up a.s.a.p., and voluntarily. Do this during the early part of the week, not on a Thursday or Friday. You don't want to spend the weekend in lock-up. Bring a friend with you to the station to post your bail. Go through the booking process. You'll then be given an arraignment date, and you'll be bailed out within a few hours.

    Then, go to your arraignment, and plead whatever you feel is appropriate. You MAY be given an opportunity at that point to explain yourself, or you may be given a trial date - - and then you can defend yourself with your story.

    Good luck to you.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    dklittl is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    16

    STill anyway to avoid it.

    Always liable,

    It is not a question of if I'm going to turn myself in. I fully plan on settling this matter when I get back in town in a week, whether it's turning myself in to the sherrif or possibly any other way. The question is whether or not I can avoid being booked on the charge at the jail. My goal is not to avoid paying any fine or avoiding court costs.

    My only goal is to avoid going to jail to be booked. So if you have any options to proceed with, I would appreciate some advice. Of course I can call some friends, but I was really hoping that someone would have some advice other than just turn yourself in and be arrested, I'm well aware of that.
  4. #4
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    38,165

    Re: STill anyway to avoid it.

    Originally posted by dklittl
    Always liable,

    It is not a question of if I'm going to turn myself in. I fully plan on settling this matter when I get back in town in a week, whether it's turning myself in to the sherrif or possibly any other way. The question is whether or not I can avoid being booked on the charge at the jail. My goal is not to avoid paying any fine or avoiding court costs.

    My only goal is to avoid going to jail to be booked. So if you have any options to proceed with, I would appreciate some advice. Of course I can call some friends, but I was really hoping that someone would have some advice other than just turn yourself in and be arrested, I'm well aware of that.

    My response:

    No, there is no way out of the booking process. You have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, and in such circumstances, it is pro forma procedure to be booked, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in lock-up until bail is set, and paid.

    The police also need to run your photo and prints for any other outstanding "wants and warrants" from any other jurisdiction, and the only way that's accomplished is the booking process.

    IAAL

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