If my driver’s license is about to expire but I have a warrant, what do I do?

I have been charged with animal cruelty. The DA was sent paperwork showing I was not in the area of the crime at the time it was committed. I have an out-of-state driver’s license that will expire next month. If I go get it renewed will I be arrested?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When you go to renew or obtain a new license in Texas, the DPS office that you go to will usually run warrant checks before they finish processing your transaction.  If you go to get your license renewed or converted to a Texas license, and there is an active warrant, then most likely you will be arrested on that warrant.  Your question and your narrative have slightly different facts patterns, though.  If you have been charged, but there is not an active warrant, then you can go and get your license renewed without being arrested for animal cruelty.  The fact that you have pending charges will not prevent you from getting your license renewed.  The situation could be different for other charges that require automatic DL suspensions, but animal cruelty is not one of those types of charges.  If you are not sure whether a warrant is active or what the true status of your case it, you may want to consider hiring an attorney for the limited purpose of trying to finish your case by making sure the dismissal order gets signed and the warrant, if any, gets withdrawn. 


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