What do I do if I know I have a warrant?

Before you go to court to clear a bench warrant – especially for a felony charge – you should talk to your lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you about what to expect in court, documents you might bring to court to explain your absence, and can arrange to be there when you come to court to clear the warrant.

To clear a warrant you must first go to the Central Clerk's Office in the courthouse where your case is being heard. It is best to go to the clerk’s office when the courthouse opens at 9:00a.m. to be sure to have enough time to clear the warrant, since it can take time for the court staff to locate your case file. The clerk will probably instruct you to go to the court part to wait for the case to be called. It can take some time for the papers to be sent to the court part. Be patient.

If you are represented by The Legal Aid Society, the Court will advise the office that you are in court, and an attorney from the office will speak on your behalf. However, if your case is called without a lawyer being present, you may be asked to personally explain why you did not appear as scheduled. You should be prepared to answer this question but should not discuss the facts of the case with the judge.