Better Call Glew: Bench Warrant Blues

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Jay Brockman
Hi Mr. Glew,

I received a letter in the mail stating that there was a bench warrant for my arrest for failing to pay fines from a DUI I got a couple years back. I don't know how to clear this up without going into court but I'm afraid if I go to court I will get arrested.

How can I clear this up?

*See also:

Better Call Glew: Driving While Anxious

Better Call Glew: Divorce Edition

Better Call Glew: The Case of the Wanna-be Conspirator

The safest bet is to hire an attorney to go to court with you and quash the warrant. I say this because the clerk's office won't accept payments on a case that has gone to warrant. Thus, the warrant must be recalled by the judge before you can make any payment.

This is a serious situation because if you are picked up on the street, it could be very costly, as you would be taken into custody and your car, if you are driving, will most likely be impounded. Remember, police officers have the ability to see if there are any warrants for your arrest in the field, so a seemingly innocuous traffic stop can become a nightmare.

The best course of action for you to resolve this situation is to retain counsel, and if you are short on cash, many attorneys are willing to work out payment plans.

Send all questions to And remember, Better Call Glew!

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BillxT topcommenter

Attorneys can be (way too) expensive and it irks me that I would potentially have to shell out all that cash to one.  That said, if I need surgery done, I get a competent surgeon, by analogy if I needed more than minor legal work I would hire a legal expert.


At least try to find similar cases to see how others were able to successfully handle them.


This is speaking personally, you understand.

paullucas714 topcommenter

Bullshit! the court serioulsy doesnt want to take you ino jail for fines you owe. They just want the damn money. Go into court with the amount of cash you would spend on an attorney and drop it in the court. The judge will clear the warrant and set up payment plans. The biggets worry you have is the extra fines acculumaletd for not paying. If its tsuill possible ask the judge if you can do jail time instead of pay the fines. That used ot be the situation. Dont know if they allow you to dao that anymore as too many peploe were just going to jail and getting 100 day credit. Serioulsy the last thing they want to do is put you in jail for moneys owed. they want the fuckin money. If you go into court before you get pulled over by the cops on the street the warrant will be cleared. They have patience. If you make payment plansyoull staty out of jail. If you befg and plead to go to jail to pay some of the finesthat have accumulated for non payment they will knock off a huge chunk of the fines to avoid paying to process you throug the loop just to let you back out in 24 hours with a court date to come and make payment plans. Dont let any lawyer tell you that you need a lawyer to xclear it up or a bandsman. If you go to court the warrant will be quashed and payments will be arranged. if you beg and claim poverty they will reduce them. if you get pulled over by a street patrol cop youre going to jail. Go to courthave the warrant quashed and make payments or claim poverty and beg to go to jail in lieu of fines. man up pussy!


Really, the quickest way to clear up a warrant in Orange County is to have some bail bond company post a bond for you.  You don't have to show up to court---when the warrants being cleared---only after they set a new court date for you.  The bond company posts bond for you---anytime---not just during court hours and---voila--- the warrant is gone!


Much easier (and faster) than hiring some attorney....just sayin'...

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