If you have an outstanding Class C warrant, it is most likely for a minor offense such as a traffic violation or public intoxication that resulted in no physical harm or property damage. These warrants are issued when a Class C misdemeanor is suspected.
Despite its small gravity, failing to respond to a Class C warrant may result in further charges and an arrest warrant that follows you around. It could appear on a background check and prevent you from renewing your license.
Criminal defense attorneys take these problems very seriously. Please contact one before acting on an outstanding warrant. In many circumstances, they can assist in limiting the immediate and long-term impact.
Receiving a Class C warrant
Class C misdemeanors are the lowest degree of misdemeanor charges in Texas. If you received a ticket for running a stop sign, failing to pay a parking ticket, possessing drug paraphernalia, or any of a number of other minor misdemeanors, the offense was most likely classified as Class C. If convicted, these offenses are only punishable by fines and do not carry the risk of jail time. They are, however, criminal citations, and failure to address them may result in time behind bars.
If you received one of these tickets, you had two choices: pay the fine in full by a certain date or appear in court to enter a plea. Many people will simply pay the fee via mail and be done with it; this is a guilty plea, and a conviction will appear on your record. If it is a driving offense, you will receive points on your license as well as potential secondary consequences such as increased insurance costs or difficulty obtaining work.
What is a class C warrant in Texas?
While the repercussions of not paying a penalty are bad, ignoring the ticket entirely can be even worse. If you do not reply, the city that issued the ticket will most likely issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear. Even if the original offense appears trivial, you may be arrested without warning, even in front of your children or employer. An arrest does not have to be quick; the warrant could hang over your head for years before the officers act at an inconvenient or embarrassing time.
Your lawyer will examine the facts of your case and then devise a strategy to remedy the problem while minimizing negative consequences.
Finding your class C warrant in Texas
Many clients have difficulty determining which department issued a warrant. These could occur at the municipal or county level. There could be warrants scattered around Texas for someone who travels frequently or has moved a few times. You must first locate your warrants in order to clear them.
Warrant lookup – Texas search sources
Law enforcement agencies provide online search capabilities that typically reveal outstanding warrants. The Collin County website provides a judicial search of active warrants by name for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dallas County allows users to search by name, zip code, case number, license plate number, VIN, or even demographic data. Tarrant County warrants are available through the City of Fort Worth‘s record search. Individual city and municipal courts also have their own look-ups, which are accessible via web search engines.
The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains a statewide database of warrants reported by cities and counties. If your name appears on this list, you will be unable to renew your driver’s license until the warrants are cleared.
What to do if you have an active Class C warrant
There are several options for dealing with an active warrant. You may either wait to be arrested or turn yourself in, but either option could result in you spending time in jail awaiting a court. A better choice is to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Texas. Your lawyer can post an attorney surety bond that will lift the warrant and remove the possibility of arrest within 24 hours.
Once a surety bond is in place, they can have the warrant reinstated and respond to it as if it were a new ticket. Your attorney may frequently find a resolution that minimizes negative implications on your record and may even result in the original ticket being dismissed or the record being wiped.
Active Class C warrants do not have to be a constant source of concern. An attorney will assist you in resolving warrants while preserving your rights and advocating for the best possible outcome. Consultations are free and private.
Additional resources for researching Texas Class C warrants:
- Dallas County, Dallas County Wanted, https://www.dallascounty.org/dcwantedsearch/search.jsp
- Texas Warrant Search https://bestlawyer.guide/texas-warrant-search/
- City of Fort Worth, Record Search, https://www.ncourt.com/x-press/x-onlinepayments.aspx?juris=35244751-5EC6-41B2-B4C6-2BD08CF14073
- Texas Department of Public Safety, Search, http://www.texasfailuretoappear.com/search.php