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Old 04-19-2012, 10:07 AM
 
29 posts, read 68,594 times
Reputation: 17

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Nearly a year ago, I received a ticket for driving on a suspended license. I tried to bump the court date forward, but according to the clerk at the courthouse, they weren't able to do that. Well, I'd already turned in my apartment keys and was in the process of a move, so I went ahead and moved.
Naturally, this resulted in a bench warrant.

I've made a lot of calls to the courthouse, police station, etc., and everyone until today has told me that I'll have to turn myself in to the police station, be arrested, then see a judge for sentencing. I even asked if there was an open court, and I was told that there wasn't.

I double checked and called a few different departments and found that there is open court in Douglas County, where you're able to see a judge and possibly not be arrested.

I'm using the vacation I've accrued since I moved down here to make the 18 hour drive back to Nebraska next month to try to take care of this mess. My main concern is jail time. If I have to be in jail, I'll lose my job, and so on.
What should I expect, as far a sentence goes? I'm guessing they'll sentence me for the failure to appear, as well as the driving on suspended. What's a typical sentence for either?
Unless they drop failure to appear at open court. I'm not sure.

I just want to walk in and get this thing fixed so I can come back and not have this looming around for future background checks.

Oh, if it matters, I wasn't doing anything wrong (other than driving on a suspended license) when I got pulled over. I asked the officer why I was pulled over, and he said that another officer had randomly ran my tags and it showed that the owner had a suspended license.
I am currently licensed and insured.
One final note - I am not able to afford a lawyer. I can't get a public defender without a court date, and I can't get an official court date unless I'm actually arrested - which is the whole reason I'm going to open court (and pray that I still don't get arrested).

I've considered calling the Mayor's office, or the D.A., or the city prosecutor to explain the situation to see if they can work with me, but I was told that nobody would really be able to help.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:53 AM
 
24 posts, read 74,266 times
Reputation: 35
There are so many variables when it comes to a sentence... prior offenses, demeanor, etc. Turning yourself in would be looked upon as favorable, although I don't know that it'd decrease the outcome. I don't know of anyone that has spent more than a night or 2 (I'd recommend turning yourself in on a Tuesday morning on a non-holiday week) in jail for a traffic bench warrant. And even that is rare. Most likely you'd be arrested, taken down to Admissions, sit there all day, and MAYBE be gone by night, or the next morning, court date (or sentence) in hand. If you've never been arrested before, you're looking at fines. You can work off fines by sitting in jail.. I believe it's $72 a day. Good luck.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:54 AM
 
24 posts, read 74,266 times
Reputation: 35
P.S. You WILL be arrested for a bench warrant, there is no getting around that.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:15 PM
 
29 posts, read 68,594 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsayinman View Post
P.S. You WILL be arrested for a bench warrant, there is no getting around that.
Dang. Even if I go to open court?? What's the point of open court, then?
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
306 posts, read 599,686 times
Reputation: 69
Have you contacted a criminal defense attorney in Omaha?? Many lawyers will give you a free consultation. I'm sure you're not the first one to be in this situation, but it sounds like you just need to know your options.

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/fi...Omaha/Nebraska
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:37 PM
 
29 posts, read 68,594 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessep28 View Post
Have you contacted a criminal defense attorney in Omaha?? Many lawyers will give you a free consultation. I'm sure you're not the first one to be in this situation, but it sounds like you just need to know your options.

Omaha Criminal Defense Lawyers, Omaha Criminal Defense Attorney, Lawyer, Attorneys, Law Firms - Nebraska
I'll be spending all of my cash on getting up there and paying any fines, and hopefully returning back shortly after. Lawyers aren't going to give me any free advice. Guess I'm just going to have to roll the dice and see what happens.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:09 PM
 
24 posts, read 74,266 times
Reputation: 35
If open court were that easy and accesible, everyone would just skip out on their tickets and such. Know what I mean? It's not going to be that bad, just get it over with.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:11 PM
 
29 posts, read 68,594 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsayinman View Post
If open court were that easy and accesible, everyone would just skip out on their tickets and such. Know what I mean? It's not going to be that bad, just get it over with.
I did some research, and apparently it is that easy. You just go in, explain the situation to the judge, who is able to dismiss the warrant and immediately sentence you for the crime committed, whether it be dismissed, or a fine, or jail. I'm guessing they do that because it's a more attractive option than immediately going to jail for people with minor bench warrants. Well, and the obvious financial gain for them. Omaha is incredibly money-hungry.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:17 AM
 
2,763 posts, read 4,670,034 times
Reputation: 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyimjason View Post
Omaha is incredibly money-hungry.
LOL, as if any other city isnt!
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:45 PM
 
24 posts, read 74,266 times
Reputation: 35
I'd be interested to know how this turns out for you, if you'd like to share.
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