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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27425
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have a bench warrant for not paying fines on some misdemeanor

Customer Question

I have a bench warrant for not paying fines on some misdemeanor charges that happened when I was 21, I would like to resolve this and get it behind me. I had a baby a few months ago so I would like to do it without jail time. Should I call the clerks office and set up a time to see the judge? Can I make payment plans to keep me out of jail? Will turning myself in be appreciated?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

You need to find out whether you can just come in and pay the fine to the clerk, which you can do in some jurisdictions, or whether you will have to go before the judge. If you have to see the judge, you really should have a lawyer with you, or come in prepared to get put into jail and have someone with you to bond you right out, because you have been a fugitive from justice in the eyes of the court. However, if this is just about the payment of a fine and you come in with a hefty amount of money (expect penalties) and a lawyer who can say that you are here and prepared to pay back the fine on the spot, the judge will probably just let you do it. But after all of this time he is likely to listen much more attentively to a lawyer rather than you, since you are walking in on the wrong foot.