Dealing with an Arrest Warrant

If someone finds themselves dealing with an arrest warrant, it is probable that one of two things has happened:

  1. The police have gone to the court requested that a warrant be issued in their name, because they feel they have probable cause to suspect them of a crime.
  2. The accused has failed to show up for a court appearance, either as a witness in a trial or as the defendant, requiring a judge to issue an arrest warrant in their name. These warrants are commonly referred to as “bench” warrants because they are issued from the bench of a sitting judge.

Criteria of an Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant must be signed by a judge or magistrate and must detail the offense charged. The accused must be named and described so they can be easily recognized by the court, and their part in the crime must be noted. Finally, the warrant must command that the accused be arrested and brought before the nearest court for judgment.

If you have been convicted of a crime and may need legal assistance, consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney in your area for a free case review to explore some legal remedies.

In most scenarios, arrest warrants are not made public so as to deter defendants from fleeing arrest. The accused has no way of knowing that a warrant has been issued for them until they are approached by an officer of the court. Bench warrants are public record, so if there is concern that once may have been issued for failure to comply with a court ruling, a lawyer or bondsman can verify its existence. A defendant can be arrested if they attempt to determine the existence of a bench warrant and are recognized.

In all cases, dealing with an arrest warrant immediately, through the assistance of legal counsel, is essential.  Warrants do not simply go away over time, and the sooner one addresses these issues, the more likely these individuals can rectify the legal situation at hand.  Additionally, consulting with a criminal defense attorney prior to entering custody provides essential benefits to the accused, including a rapid response time from the attorney in securing bail and bonded release, as well as knowing exactly what the accused is facing as far as legal consequences are concerned.  

Rights of the Accused

When dealing with an arrest warrant, the accused has certain rights at their disposal. They have the right to determine that the court officers seeking them have, in their possession, a valid arrest warrant including their name and description and the crime of which they are accused.

A search warrant allows the court officer to search your home and personal property for evidence to use against you in court. If someone is presented with a valid warrant, the accused has the right to lock their door at the time of arrest. This does not remove the court’s ability to search their property, it only delays their access.

Once the accused is arrested, they have the right to remain silent. Dealing with an arrest warrant allows for implementation of the Fifth Amendment so defendants have the right to avoid condemning themselves. Anyone presented with an arrest warrant should avoid speaking with anyone except their criminal defense attorney. 

 

If you have been convicted of a crime and may need legal assistance, consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney in your area for a free case review to explore some legal remedies.
FEATURED LISTINGS FROM NOLO
Swipe to view more
NOLODRUPAL-web2:DRU1.6.12.2.20161011.41205