Now that the pandemic is subsiding, many people in San Antonio, TX, are asking how they can fix warrants they got during COVID. Having a COVID warrant is just like warrants issued before the pandemic. If you were on probation in San Antonio, Texas, and you stopped reporting, or if you had a criminal case and you missed your Bexar County court date, you probably have a warrant for your arrest. Warrants are very dangerous. If you have a warrant you need to fix it ASAP. This blog will tell you how.
How did so many people get warrants during COVID?
There are three ways that people got warrants during COVID.
- They missed a court date. Since the start of the pandemic, Bexar County Judges have been more reluctant to issue warrants because they understand that people had difficulty going to court. Some people may have had technological difficulties logging on to Zoom hearings. However, as the pandemic continued Bexar County judges began issuing warrants even if people could not appear by Zoom (video-conference).
- They were on probation (community supervision) and violated one of the rules. The most common violation? Not reporting. Second most common? Testing positive (for drugs, not Covid). Third? Catching a new case. Most people are surprised when they find out after they’ve bonded out on their new arrest that a probation warrant is waiting for them.
- Did you have police contact and nothing ever happened? If you were under investigation a detective likely compiled the evidence against you and took it to the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney would then take the evidence to the grand jury (a body that decides whether or not to indict someone). If the grand jury met and found probable cause an indictment (and a warrant) gets issued. The District Attorney’s Office was closed for a significant period of time during the COVID crisis. Many ADAs did not go into work or were not taking cases to the grand jury. As the District Attorney’s Office opened up, they took cases that had piled up during COVID to the grand jury. Once a grand jury finds probable cause, it issues an indictment causing a warrant to be issued. People are often surprised when months or years after a crime occurred that the District Attorney’s Office will still issue an indictment.
How Do you Find Out if You Have a Warrant?
If you are in San Antonio, Texas, simply call our office and provide your name and date of birth. The attorney-client privilege covers this confidential information. By law, we cannot tell anyone that you have called our office seeking this information. Once we confirm that you have a COVID warrant (or that you are clear from warrants), we will work with you to put together a plan to get your warrant cleared. If you don’t have a warrant we can put you on a plan to monitor the system so that we are alerted once a COVID warrant is issued. Once we’ve been hired on a case, we can have access to the discovery that the District Attorney’s Office puts online, and we can let you know what the criminal charges are about.
Should I turn myself in?
Yes. But hire a lawyer first. Many times warrants have conditions on them that make it hard to bond straight out of jail. These conditions can include GPS holds (meaning the State wants to put you on house arrest) or no-contact orders that prohibit you from going home or contacting your loved ones. An attorney can change these conditions and talk to the judge about why they are not appropriate for your situation. These motions can shorten the time you spend in custody and allow you to resolve your warrant as quickly as possible while spending as little time as possible in custody.
What Steps Can an Attorney Take to Help Resolve a Bexar County Warrant?
If you have a warrant, there are a number of ways your attorney can help you. Usually, warrants issued during COVID were RWOB or Remanded Without Bond. This means that the judge wants to talk to an attorney before they set a bond on the case. It doesn’t mean they won’t set a bond. It just means they want a lawyer to explain to them why a bond should be set and how much it should be. If you turn yourself in without hiring a lawyer, you can be waiting days (or even weeks) for your court-appointed attorney to get a bond set in your case. Hiring an attorney means that you can get out of jail quicker and gives you your best shot at living a normal life while you wait for your case’s resolution. For instance, once a bond is set an attorney can help you by walking you through the satellite bond office so you can entirely avoid the hell-hole that is the Bexar County Jail,
Fix Your COVID Warrant
Worrying about a COVID warrant can be scary and stressful. At The Locke Law Group we can help you get through this stressful time. Give us a call so we can check you for warrants and come up with a plan to fix your COVID warrant.