How can I find out what’s going on with my case or if there even is a case?

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How can I find out what’s going on with my case or if there even is a case?

Last month I was arrested on a charge of “racing on a highway,” a class B misdemeanor. When I was arraigned, the judge set bail at $1000, which I paid in full with cash, and then was released. The judge never gave me a court date and I was not given any paperwork with a court date. I have called the jail, police, municipal and county courts, and they have no record of me having a pending court date or even being arrested. The court said I should have had a court date set when bail was set but there isn’t one. Did I get lost in the system? What happens to my bail money I paid?

Asked on January 10, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you posted a bond, there is a record somewhere.  If you have a copy of the receipt for the bond that you posted, then you need to take that to the jail and show it to someone who is in charge of bonding.  Ask specifically for the bonding department to inquire about the status of your bond.  If the case has been rejected by the prosecutor, they should return the bond to you-- especially since it was a cash bond.

Since it's only been a month, there is a possibility that your case is in transit to the court or the prosecutor.  The case will not be filed until the prosecutor signs off on an information to be filed with the county court.  So you may want to call the county attorney's office and see if they have the case yet.  That may be the hold up and why the courts don't know anything about your case (namely, because the prosecutor hasn't filed it yet).  If the prosecutor has the case, you can then inquire if/when it will be filed.

Another way to check the status of your case is to check your county's website.  Many have online judicial record searches which will tell you when the case is filed and the name of the court in which it is pending. 

As you are checking through these three different options, you may want to have them cross reference your case info by your driver's license instead of just your name.  Some counties have databases which are very picky about name searches-- and if a name is not typed in exactly the same way it was submitted by the officer, then a case will not show up.  (For example, your name is "John Doe", but the officer filed the case and "Jon Do"-- they will not be able to pull up a case on your legal name.)  Your DL number will help reduce this problem. 

Checking in with these specific departments should get you an update that you need.  If they continue to tell you that there is not a case, considering contacting a criminal defense attorney and have them just make a couple of phone calls for you.  He may be aware of a glitch that is currently affecting the system.  If the county continues to assert that there is no case against you, have the attorney draft you a motion and order for the return of your cash bond.  They only get to keep you cash bond until the case is disposed of.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The best way for you to ascertain the status of your criminal matter is to go down to the county court house and pull up your matter on the court's internal computer system. By looking at your matter and the docket you will be able to ascertain what its status is.


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