Warrant Assistance:
What is a "Local Warrant?"

WHAT IS A "LOCAL WARRANT"?

A local warrant is merely a piece of paper that is kept on file at the office of the Hunt County Sheriff, who is the custodian of local warrants. The warrant is addressed to "any Peace Officer in the state of Texas", and is signed by a judge commanding that the individual named on it be arrested and placed in Jail. 

Because of the diligent efforts of the Office of Warrant Assistance staff, many persons are located sometimes after substantial periods of time.  This often brings about questions regarding STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.  The STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS for offenses or traffic violations is varied in the state of Texas based on the degree of offense beginning with two years.  This refers however to the passage of time between an offense and the filing of a case.  Once a case is filed and a warrant is issued, it is good as long as a person is alive unless it is resolved.

A warrant does not mean you are guilty of anything, only that probable cause exists and that a case has been filed. This means you are a candidate for general arrest by any peace officer in the commissioned in the state of Texas. An arrest warrant can be served any time of the day or night 365 days per year anywhere within the state of Texas.

Warrants for Class B and A misdemeanors (Theft by Check, Family Violence, Theft, DWI, DWLI etc.) are entered into the TCIC database.  This allows for statewide arrest and extradition and will show up whenever a police officer anywhere in Texas accesses it.  Class C warrants may not be entered into this system, but are nonetheless valid throughout Texas and you can be arrested and returned to Hunt County at any time.  The Code of Criminal procedure also allows for immediate arrest and return to Hunt County from any County that physically adjoins Hunt without arraignment. (Collin, Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Kaufman, Rockwall, and VanZandt Counties) Felony warrants are entered into the NCIC database and often allow for nationwide arrest and extradition.

THEFT BY CHECK warrants are issued by the County Attorney's office (903-408-4112).  These are often called "Hot Check Warrants", and are Class B or Class A level offenses.  This means they may have probation and/or jail time attached to fines and fees.  This offense will also require a plea agreement to resolve.  Information on the dollar amounts required to settle these warrants may be obtained only from the County Attorney's office.

Many local warrants are issued through the Justice of the Peace Courts.  These are typically traffic and IBC (Issuance of Bad Check) warrants. Because JP warrants are Class C misdemeanors, they are almost always given a cash bond that can be paid at the time of arrest allowing the wanted person to be released. Exceptions to this are warrants that are called CAPIAS (pronounced "cape-e-us"), which means you must be arraigned (see the judge) before release. These can often be resolved by going before the Judge, often in his office, during normal business hours.

Justice of the Peace FAILURE TO APPEAR warrants are subject to the State of Texas "Omnibase" program.  This means that your Driver's License will be flagged, and you will not be able to renew it until your obligations are met.  When you sign a traffic citation, your signature is a promise to appear on or before a certain date.  Per State of Texas law, a violation of that promise to appear is a separate offense.

Other warrants issued through the County Court at Law or our District courts require a formal arrest and arraignment.  Exceptions to these are CAPIAS PROFINE warrants.  These warrants are issued from cases that have already been adjudicated, but the required conditions for release have not been met.  They can often be resolved simply by an appearance before the judge and the paying of a fine.