How to Clear a Bench Warrant

2021 Amnesty News Release

The Rio Rancho Municipal Court, presided over by the Honorable Judge Robert G. Cook, announces its annual Amnesty Program for individuals with open Municipal Court bench warrants.  Please click here for more information.

In Rio Rancho Municipal Court, bench warrants are issued for people who:
  • Fail to appear
  • Fail to comply
  • Fail to pay
If a bench warrant has been processed and an arrest has been made, there is a mandatory $100.00 bench warrant fee added to any possible fines.

If a bench warrant has been processed for you, you have several ways to clear it. Some bench warrants will have a bond amount; others will require appearance before the Judge. Contact the Court Clerk’s office for specifics. In cases where a bond has been set, the bond amount may be as low as a few hundred dollars or as high as a few thousand.

If you are arrested and your bench warrant specifies a bond amount, you must post a bond to be released from custody. If a bond is not listed or you are unable to post a bond, you will be set for arraignment at the next available court date. An appearance bond is money that you post with the Court to guarantee your appearance at all court hearings. Not all bench warrants are guaranteed an appearance bond.

A "cash" bond must be in the form of cash only. A "cash or surety" bond means you can either post cash or use the services of a bondsman. If you post a cash bond, you (or whoever posted the bond for you) may sign a form allowing it to be converted to fines when you are sentenced and any remaining balance will be returned in the form of a check. The refund will take place
7-10 business days after the case is adjudicated.

If you wish to avoid being arrested, you may turn yourself into the Court and appear at a regular scheduled arraignment. Arraignments are held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 9:00 AM in the Municipal Courtroom at 500 Quantum Road. To turn yourself in, you must report to the Court Clerk's office by 8:30 AM. For additional days and times that you may possibly turn yourself in, please contact the Court Clerk’s office.

If you have a warrant for failure to pay fines you may be able to clear it by paying the outstanding fines and bench warrant fees at the payment window. Again, please be aware that the $100.00 fee and court costs will be charged in addition to your fines. The bench warrant will not be recalled until the outstanding fines and fees are paid in full.
If you think there may be an outstanding bench warrant for you, please contact the Municipal Court at (505) 891-5999 for information. You can obtain information regarding your options and it is hoped that you can clear the warrant without being arrested.