Common problem and a frequent phone call that I receive. Short answer is the more serious the offense, the more likely the situation will be complicated to resolve. For example, you are charged with a disorderly persons offense such as shoplifting or simple assault. You miss the first appearance date for the municipal court and you get notification that there is a warrant for your arrest. In this instance, an attorney may be able to convince the Court to recall the bench warrant and get your case back on the calender without you having to turn yourself in, possibly spend the night in jail and post bail. If you have missed multiple court dates, then it becomes tougher for me to get warrants vacated without turning the defendant in. Remember though, sometimes a judge just wont budge and we may need to make arrangement with the police to turn you in and release you on the same day after we post bail. As opposed to superior court and indictable charges, the municipal court judge will usually attach a bail amount to a arrest/bench warrent
If you are charged with a more serious offense such as cocaine or heroin distribution in the Superior Court, and you miss a court date, the Superior Court judge may not allow your attorney to do a “warrant walk in” and may insist that you turn yourself in. This means that you will likely spend at least a day in jail before bail is reinstated or the judge sees you to set new bail. Although, as stated, in some instances it is possible to do a walk in if I can clear it with the court first. The problem with Indictable offense and missed court dates is that judges with frequently forfeit the bail that was posted initially and won’t set new bail until they have you in custody. This is the case almost all the time with indictables and missed court dates. This means that you will have to wait in jail before bail gets set again unless a walk in is possible. It really depends on the court and the judge
Sometimes a warrant may issues when you fall behind on time payments. This can be remedied in some instances by simple calling the court and making the payments that your are behind on. If you can’t do this, it may be necessary to post bail, and ask the judge to put you on a new payment schedule or an attorney can sometimes get the court to put you on the calendar for a date without having to turn you in.
If you have a warrant for your arrest in New Jersey, remember that every situation is different and I have handled just about all of them at one time or another. Give me a call and I can give you some guidance.