Warrants Never Expire

There is no expiration date for warrants. No matter how old your warrant is, you will eventually have to get it lifted, or risk being picked up by the police and taken to jail.

You can hire an attorney to lift the warrant for you, or you can turn yourself in to the police and pay the bond. The cost of hiring an attorney to lift the warrant is usually much cheaper than the amount of the bond.

Why Was a Warrant Issued Against You?

Missouri courts issue arrest warrants for many reasons, but here are a few of the most common ones:

  • you failed to pay the fine for a speeding ticket or other criminal offense
  • you failed to pay child support payments
  • you were on a payment plan with the court and you missed a payment
  • you failed to appear in court for your court date
  • you caused a car accident and didn’t pay for the damages to the other driver’s car

In addition to issuing a warrant, courts can also suspend your driver’s license for any of the offenses listed above.

To make matters worse, warrants sometimes show up on criminal background checks.

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Missouri

You can hire a lawyer to find out if you have any warrants. You can also check online on casenet, or call the court and ask the court clerk if they have issued a warrant for your arrest.

When Will the Court Issue a Warrant?

Courts can issue a warrant immediately after the first missed court date or missed payment.

Most courts will not warn you before issuing a warrant.

Many courts will issue a Failure to Appear (FTA) charge after you miss your first court date, but they will wait until after your second missed court date before they issue a warrant and set the bond amount.

What is Bond?

The bond is the amount of money you must pay to the court to get your warrant cancelled and obtain a new court date. Bond amounts can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the charges against you.

How to Avoid Paying the Bond After a Warrant is Issued

In many cases, an attorney can get your warrant cancelled (“lifted”), obtain a new court date for you, and negotiate a plea bargain to have your traffic violation or criminal charge reduced to a lesser offense. You won’t have to pay the bond amount to the court, but you will have to pay the fine and court costs, as well as any other fees, such as a warrant fee or FTA fee.

Some courts won’t cancel a warrant even if an attorney requests it. In those courts, your only option is to turn yourself in at the police department, where you will be booked. Then you will pay the bond to cancel the warrant and get a new court date. At that point, you can hire an attorney to represent you, or you can appear in court on your own. The bond will be applied to the amount of the fine and court costs that you owe to the court.

What to do if You Have Multiple Warrants

If you have warrants in several different courts and you are taken to jail for one of those warrants, as soon as you pay your bond in the first court, you will be sent to jail in the next court where you have a warrant. This process will be repeated in each court that has issued a warrant against you.

You will have to pay a separate bond in each municipality where you have a warrant. If you act quickly, an attorney may be able to get your warrants cancelled and prevent you from being transferred to the next jail.

Call St. Louis traffic lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a price quote to lift a warrant, or to get your unpaid speeding tickets reduced to non-moving, no-point violations. You can email Andrea at [email protected] or click on the email icon at the top of the page to send Andrea an email.

Get St. Louis City Warrants Lifted Without Hiring a Lawyer

For $35, you can get your warrant lifted in St. Louis City Municipal Court without hiring an attorney.

Just go to the court clerk’s office and ask them to look up your outstanding warrants. The fee is $35 to lift your first warrant, plus $10 for each additional warrant. The fee is $45 for any warrant that is more than 30 days old.

The Court’s address is:

St. Louis City Municipal Court
1520 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63103

After you pay the warrant cancellation fee, the court clerk will give you a new court date for each case. By the next court date, you must either 1) appear in court to represent yourself, 2) hire an attorney to represent you, or 3) mail your payment to the Court for your fines and court costs.

You will not be arrested if you go to the court clerk’s office to get your warrants lifted, even if you have warrants in other municipalities.

The Court accepts payment in the form of cash, personal checks with identification, debit or credit card.

If you would like to hire an attorney to lift your warrants, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]. Prices start at $75 to lift a warrant.

Get Your Warrant Lifted On “Amnesty Day” In St. Louis

If there is a warrant for your arrest that was issued by a municipal court in the St. Louis area, you may be able to get your warrant lifted and pay your fine without any additional penalties.

To take advantage of this opportunity, go to St. Louis Community College on one of three scheduled “Amnesty Days” in August 2012. Of the total 93 municipal courts in St. Louis, 50 of them (including St. Louis City Municipal Court, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County) will participate in “Amnesty Days” for defendants who have arrest warrants for any misdemeanor criminal charge, including traffic ticket warrants.

If You Have a Warrant, You Can Be Arrested Even If You Are Just a Passenger In a Vehicle Driven By Someone Else 

You can be arrested and taken to jail if you are pulled over for a traffic violation and the police officer discovers your warrant, even if you are just a passenger in the car. If you are arrested and taken to jail, you won’t be released until you either post bond or you go before the judge at the next court date, which might not take place for another week or more.

To Get Your Warrant Lifted On Amnesty Day, You Must Pay a $10 Fee Plus $100 That Will Be Applied To Your Fines & Court Costs

If you attend one of the scheduled Amnesty Days at St. Louis Community College, you will be required to pay a $10 processing fee and listen to a 15-minute presentation that explains the program, then you will be given a voucher. Take the voucher and $100 to the municipal court that issued the warrant against you, and that court will lift your warrant and give you a new court date. The $100 will be applied to the fines and court costs that you owe to the court.

St. Louis City Municipal Court requires payment of only $35 (rather than $100) during Amnesty Days to lift a warrant.

How Does “Amnesty Day” Help Defendants With Warrants?

Courts who participate in Amnesty Day help defendants who have warrants by letting defendants get their warrants cancelled and pay their fines without additional penalties.

Normally, when an arrest warrant has been issued, the defendant must either hire an attorney to get the warrant lifted or pay a bond to the court in order to get the warrant lifted and get a new court date. In addition to paying the bond, defendants often must pay warrant fees and “Failure to Appear” fees.

When You Pay Your Fines, You’re Pleading Guilty

Be aware that when you pay your fines to the court, you are pleading guilty. The conviction will go on your criminal record, if it’s a misdemeanor criminal offense. If you pay the fine for a traffic ticket, then that conviction will be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue and points will be added to your driving record.

After you get your warrant lifted and the court gives you a new court date, you can hire an attorney to represent you in court and negotiate a plea bargain with the court to reduce your charges to a lesser offense.

Which St. Louis Area Municipal Courts Will Participate In Amnesty Days in August 2012?

Following is a list of some of the municipal courts participating in the August 2012 Amnesty Days at St. Louis Community College:

Bellefontaine Neighbors
Bellerive Acres
Beverly Hills
Black Jack
Cool Valley
Country Club Hills
Des Peres
Moline Acres
Pine Lawn
Richmond Heights
St. Ann
St. Charles County
St. John
St. Louis City
St. Louis County
Sycamore Hills
Town & Country
University City
Uplands Park
Velda Village Hills
Vinita Park
Warson Woods

When And Where Are “Amnesty Days” For Warrants Being Held In St. Louis?

St. Louis “Amnesty Days” hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows:

August 4 – St. Louis Community College – Meramec campus

August 8 – St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley campus

August 11 – St. Louis Community College – Forest Park campus

Some Municipal Court Host Their Own Warrant Amnesty Days

In addition to the Amnesty Days at the St. Louis Community College locations, some other St. Louis municipalities host their own Amnesty Days, allowing defendants with arrest warrants to come to court and pay to get their warrants lifted and be given a new court date.

If you believe you have a warrant, call the court and ask if they are planning to hold an Amnesty Day.

Amnesty Day in Downtown St. Louis For Old Parking Tickets And Warrants

In May 2012, for the first time in more than ten years, there was an Amnesty Day downtown at the America’s Center for old parking tickets in St. Louis City and warrants in unincorporated St. Louis County.

Attendees paid entry fees ranging from $10 to $25 (prices varied depending on which jurisdiction issued the warrant), to the organization sponsoring the Amnesty Day event, and in exchange they were able to pay their overdue parking tickets without any additional penalties or late fees. Be prepared to wait several hours for this privilege, though. The May 2012 Amnesty Day in downtown St. Louis attracted thousands of people who had to wait for hours in long lines. See this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about the recent St. Louis parking ticket Amnesty Day.

An Attorney Can Get Your Warrant Lifted And You Won’t Have To Pay Your Bond

If you can’t make it to the St. Louis area Amnesty Days, you can hire an attorney to get your warrant lifted and obtain a new court date for you. At that point, you can either pay the fine and the conviction will go on your record, or you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense.

Go to this page of my website to learn how to find out if you have a warrant in Missouri or see my previous blog post about how to get a warrant lifted in Missouri.