How can I fix a bench warrant for a traffic ticket in Virginia?
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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
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If you have a bench warrant for your arrest in Virginia, there are ways to resolve the issue. If you no longer live in the area where the violation took place, it may be slightly difficult to get your record cleared, but doing so will be worth the effort. You may need to make some phone calls and enlist the help of a lawyer.
Can my Virginia bench warrant lead to my arrest?
A traffic ticket warrant of this nature is not a serious offense compared to other types of warrants, so you are unlikely to be pursued and arrested in your new state. This would be called “extradition,” and it is an expensive procedure usually conducted only for serious crimes.
On the other hand, your warrant will remain on your driving record and will be seen by anyone who checks your background, such as potential landlords and employees. It will also be seen by the DMV of your home state. If you do not have a driver’s license yet in the new state (or if yours expires), you will not be issued a new one with the warrant on your record. You may even lose the one you have if the state in which you got the ticket decides to suspend your license in that state. The DMV in Virginia may call your new state and the suspension will follow you.
Should I call the county court about my bench warrant?
You may be reluctant to call the county court and announce that you have a warrant, and for good reason. Doing this can indeed lead directly to your arrest. But that isn’t a concern you should have in this case. In nearly any situation, you will likely be perfectly safe calling the county court or DMV in which you have the ticket and simply asking for instructions regarding where to pay the rest of the fine in order to clear the warrant.
If you are uncomfortable doing so, a lawyer may do it for you for a very small fee. This places a legal layer between you and the court and gives you some extra protection. But in most situations your best option is to find an address, put a check in the mail, and then check to make sure the warrant is taken off your record afterwards.