If You Have a Warrant, Can You Just Pay It?

If You Have a Warrant, Can You Just Pay It?

A writ authorizing or commanding someone to do something is called a warrant. The term describes a wide range of documents—the most common of which are judicial or quasi-judicial warrants. It is a written authorization that authorizes the bearer or bearers to undertake any act or carry out an office. 

Typically, warrants refer to a writ issued by a judge that permits the police enforcement authorities to perform specific actions, such as making an arrest, searching a location, or seizing property.

Other government institutions, such as legislatures, may also issue warrants since they have the authority to force the attendance of its members. A call of the house occurs when the legislature issues a warrant.

If you have a warrant, can you just pay it?

Yes, if you have a normal warrant or a capias warrant, you can pay for it. You can always go to the local courthouse or department in the area where the warrant was issued, and you can pay the fine there and get it resolved.

How is a normal arrest warrant resolved or paid?

A warrant is issued when you have not accepted a plea and no final verdict is made, or you fail to show up in court.

There are several ways to resolve a normal warrant:

  1. To obtain a new court date, you can pay a bond.
  • Surety bonds: A bonding firm or an attorney issues a surety bond. The bonding firm or attorney will determine its expenses for posting the bond, and any money you pay towards such a bond will not be applied to your court fees.
  • Cash Bonds: The amount required to deposit a cash bond is generally the same as the fine. This sum must be paid in cash or through money order. Any money placed as a cash bond will be used to pay for your fine’s final disposition.
  1. You can pay the fine in person at the court using cash, money order, or credit or debit card. At this time, you will register a plea and will not get another court date. This cost will appear on your record as a conviction. You may be able to set up a payment plan for this charge as well. 
  2. You can pay the fine using a money order or cashier’s cheque. To obtain the particular information required to pay the fine, you must contact the court office. You accept a no-contest plea by paying this penalty by mail, and this charge will show on your record as a conviction.
  3. You can pay the full fine online using a credit or debit card. You accept a no-contest plea by paying this penalty with a credit/debit card, and this penalty will appear on your record as a conviction.

How is a capias warrant resolved or paid?

A capias warrant is issued when you’ve already submitted a plea and a final judgment has been filed in your case. You will get a warrant when you fail to adhere to court orders or make payments as promised.

The ways to resolve a Capias Warrant include:

  1. You can pay the fine in person at the court using cash, money order, or credit/debit card. You may be able to set up a payment plan for this charge as well. Call the court office to find out how much of a deposit will be necessary.
  2. You can pay the full fine by mailing a money order or cashier’s check. To obtain the particular information required to pay the fine, you must contact the court office.
  3. You can pay the full fine online using a credit or debit card.

Background of warrant

The English government enforced its laws with a “general warrant.” The warrants passed by the government were vague, with no indication of why they were issued or what was the reason for the arrest. A general warrant established nearly no restrictions on a soldier’s or sheriff’s search or arrest authority.

The courts accepted multiple searches without warrants, including administrative or stock searches, emergency searches, and searches carried out with consent.

When individuals in authority issued general warrants to have their rivals arrested with no offense committed, this concept became a severe problem. So, the British Parliament approved the Revenue Act of 1767, which maintained the legitimacy of writs of assistance or general search warrants and provided customs inspectors broad authority to search dwellings and businesses for illicit items.

The American Founding Fathers assured that the general warrants would be unlawful in the United States by codifying the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1791, which was one of the necessary acts passed by Great Britain that led to the American Revolution.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States requires a warrant to specify the place where to search and the persons or items to be taken; no warrant may be issued without reasonable cause and testimony before a judge.

In the United States, an arrest warrant looks something like this: “This Court directs the Sheriff or Constable to locate the identified person and transfer him to the custody of the Court.”

Inclusions in a warrant

A warrant for arrest in the United States must include:

  •  the title of the court issuing the order, 
  • the person’s name to whom to arrest, 
  • the offense committed, the date of issue, 
  • the officer who addresses the warrant, and 
  • the magistrate’s signature.

When the court executes a warrant, the individual being investigated, arrested, or having their property confiscated receives a copy of the warrant.

Types of warrants

The different types of warrants are:

Arrest warrant

A court or magistrate issues an arrest warrant with a signed and sworn document demonstrating reasonable grounds that a specific crime has been committed and that the person specified in the warrant has executed the crime. 

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a government official allowing the arrest and custody of a person. Misdemeanors that occur outside of the gaze of a police officer require an arrest warrant in most jurisdictions. 

A warrant is usually not required to arrest someone accused of committing a felony if authorities have sufficient reasonable grounds.

Search warrant

A search warrant authorizes the search of a particular location for evidence of a specific offense. The judge will grant the warrant if he believes there is reasonable cause to suspect such evidence exists based on information provided by police in the format of a signed affidavit. Most of what criminal justice technologists perform does not require search warrants.

Governor’s warrant

The Governor’s office issues these warrants so that a suspect who has conducted a crime in another state can be apprehended and brought back to that state.

Fugitive warrant

A warrant is issued from another state when the suspect is thought to be in the local jurisdiction.

Civil Capias Warrant

A civil capias warrant is an apprehension order used in civil court matters where the defendant frequently disobeys the judge’s directives. These are distinct from Criminal Warrants and are also known as Body Attachments and Mittimuses

In a contempt case, the civil capias warrant aims to bring a person into court for a hearing.

Capias Pro Fine Warrant / Capias warrant

A person gets a Capias warrant when he is found guilty of a crime after appearing in court, pleading guilty, or being in jail, and when he fails to pay a fine or comply with specific conditions within the given timeline. A Capias warrant can get resolved by paying the fine or serving time in jail.

Alias warrant

An Alias warrant is issued when a subject fails to show up in court for a specified court date before a plea is made or fails to answer a summons in person or by mail. Failure to appear incurs an additional fee.

Why is a Warrant necessary?

A warrant is necessary if an arrest needs to be legal, except in a few cases. In most cases, the warrant issued is at the complainant’s request, who submits an affidavit containing sufficient information to support the conviction that a crime has been conducted and the accused is the perpetrator.

The facts must usually be attested as being within the complainant’s direct knowledge. Hearing evidence may be adequate to issue a warrant, but only when the affidavit has sufficient information to establish the reliability of the hearsay source and provide a foundation for the findings reached.


A judge or magistrate having probable cause for an arrest based on testimony under oath or an affidavit grants a warrant. The individual who will get arrested must be named precisely in the warrant. When presenting an affidavit or testimony in favor of a warrant, if a law enforcement provides false information or exhibits reckless disregard for facts, it could nullify the warrant.

According to the Fourth Amendment, state and federal law require the issue of a warrant for most misdemeanors committed outside of the view of a police officer. However, a warrant is usually not needed to arrest someone accused of a felony in a public area if police have the appropriate probable cause, but state laws differ. An arrest warrant is a compulsion when an individual is arrested at home in a non-emergency circumstance. 

But, yes, if you get a warrant, you can pay it either by visiting the local court jurisdiction or even online with your credit or debit card.

What does the Fourth Amendment cover?

It covers Search and Seizure.

Can an arrest be made without probable cause?

No, an arrest is not possible without probable cause.

When a felony is done at a public place, does a police officer need a warrant to arrest the accused?

If the felony is conducted at a public place, a police officer does not need a warrant to arrest the accused.

What are the two main types of warrants?

The two main types of warrants are arrest warrants and search warrants.

Who issues a warrant?

A judge, magistrate, and other government institutions like legislatures can issue a warrant.