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What Do I Do If I Have A Warrant?

In Kentucky a warrant may be issued for a variety of reasons. A warrant may be issued based on an indictment for a felony charge or on a misdemeanor if the defendant cannot be found. Most often, a warrant is issued because of a person failing to appear for a court hearing either on a misdemeanor, felony, EPO/DVO, or even a civil case. Generally referred to as a capias in Ohio, these warrants are called Bench Warrants in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The most common way to deal with a warrant is for the person to turn themselves in to the issuing county jail. The jail will lodge, fingerprint and book the person charged and then interview by pretrial services. If the person does not already have a set bail, the pretrial will take the information to the judge who will then set a bail bond. Kentucky does not have or allow for bail bondsmen. As such, the bail is set and can be set as a percentage bond, allowing the person to post 10% of the total bond. At times, the judge will set a specific bond, and the person must post the entire amount to be released. The Judge may also state specific restrictions on bond such as: full cash bond, no out of court review, stay away from the victim. These must be followed for the defendant to be released. It is suggested that the person with the warrant contact an attorney prior to turning himself in. There are days and times which minimize the time that the person will have to spend incarcerated. Further, if the person cannot post the required bail, there are times when the attorney may request a bond review or have the defendant present so that the court will consider a lower bond. Persons who turn themselves in on a warrant generally get a much lower bond than those that are arrested without self surrender. More importantly, having an attorney on board before you appear in court is essential to preparing for a defense. It is also more difficult to contact, hire and retain an attorney from jail than if you are not incarcerated. Whereas you may talk to an attorney and get a consultation in their office to ascertain if you want to hire their services, many attorneys require a retainer prior to visiting a client who is in the detention center.

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