What is a Capias Warrant?
Sunday, February 26, 2012
The word “capias” means “that you take” in Latin, therefore a capias warrant is usually issued to compel someone to do take a specific action. Capias warrants are issued by civil courts, therefore they are apart from a criminal arrest warrant, however make no mistake—you can wind up in jail as a result of a Texas capias warrant. In some cases people who owe the court money based on a prior court judgment but neglected to pay could have a capias warrant issued for them, or someone who fails to appear for a civil hearing could end up with their name on a capias warrant. The ultimate goal of a capias warrant is to force someone to comply with a court order. Certain jurisdictions also use capias warrants in the case of persons who failed to pay their traffic citation or appear in court as promised, however this is generally after a plea has been entered while an alias warrant is used prior to a plea being entered.
How to Avoid a Capias Warrant
In order to avoid a capias warrant you must always comply with court orders, pay your fines promptly or appear in court as promised. There is a problem with simply paying your traffic fines, however. Once you pay your traffic fines, you receive a conviction on your driving record. Each conviction brings points along with it—generally two points for any moving violation such as speeding, driving with an expired registration or inspection sticker or running a stop light or stop sign. You will be given three points for any moving violation which resulted in an accident.
Should you accrue six points on your driving record within a three-year period, you will be subject to surcharges assessed by the State of Texas which can climb into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars and require you to pay the yearly fee for three years or more. The points on your driving record can result in escalating insurance rates or even a cancellation of your auto insurance altogether. You could also see employment repercussions as a result of the convictions and points on your record, so even though you want to avoid a warrant, pleading guilty or paying your tickets is not always the best way to accomplish that.
What to do if you are Under Threat of a Capias Warrant
If you find there is a capias warrant with your name on it, you will need to take care of the situation quickly in order to avoid an embarrassing arrest. You will need to post a traffic bond in order to take away the threat of an arrest, and this can be done through a bondsman, posting the bond at court on your own, or hiring an attorney to post the bond on your behalf. While you can post the bond yourself, there is always the possibility that the warrant for your arrest could be executed while you are waiting in line to post your bond. This is not particularly likely, but it could happen. It’s a much better choice to allow a Houston traffic ticket attorney to post a traffic bond on your behalf, removing the cloud over your head and allowing you to talk with your attorney and determine what to do next. No matter how you post your bond, it really is the best way to effectively quash a City of Houston warrant.
Why Hiring an Attorney May be the Most Cost-Effective Move You Can Make
It may seem like hiring an attorney to post your traffic bond and fight your ticket is a little bit of overkill or an unnecessary expense, in the long run it can be much more cost-effective than paying your tickets. A Houston traffic ticket attorney may be able to have your traffic ticket dismissed entirely, or could negotiate with the prosecutor to lessen the original charges. Either of these strategies will leave you with far fewer negative consequences than paying your ticket and receiving a conviction on your record. A Houston traffic ticket attorney will work hard on your behalf to ensure the best outcome and keep you from spending hundreds or thousands of dollars in the future. You don’t want to be paying surcharges to the state of Texas, higher insurance premiums, or suffer the loss of your job simply because of a relatively minor traffic ticket, so take the necessary steps now and allow your attorney to fight for your future.