What Should I Do if there’s a Warrant for my Arrest?

Every day thousands of active warrants are issued across the country. Because there are so many active warrants, and the police have no obligation to inform people when they have a warrant out for their arrest, many people have no idea they have a warrant and continue living their normal lives until one day they arrested. That is why if you suspect for any reason that you may have an active warrant for your arrest, it is important to check to be sure.

Once you are certain that you have a warrant for your arrest, understanding how to conduct yourself and move forward will go a long way in determining the outcome of your case. One of the first things to remember is that if you do have a warrant for your arrest, it’s best to turn yourself in before the police arrest you. Turning yourself in demonstrates to the courts that you are a responsible person who wishes to resolve the matter at hand.

The different types of warrants

Keep in mind that while the Statute of Limitation for a crime can expire, an arrest warrant never expires. This means that until you resolve the problem, you will always have a warrant out for your arrest.

The two types of warrants are:

Arrest warrant. This type of warrant is issued by law enforcement officials or a grand jury when they have probable cause to believe you’ve committed a crime. In order to issue such a warrant, the police must conduct an investigation and present their findings to a judge.

Bench warrant. This type of warrant can be issued when you fail to appear in court, pay a fine, or answer a subpoena.

If you suspect that you may have a warrant out for your arrest, here are some of the steps you should take:

Verify warrant. The first step is to verify that you have a warrant for your arrest. You can do so by calling the clerk’s office in the jurisdiction where you believe you have a warrant and asking. It is also possible to visit the county, city, state, or federal website where you suspect you have a warrant. Make sure you visit an official government site that ends in .org.

Contact a lawyer. If you determine that you do in fact have a warrant it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area. A lawyer can advise you as to the best way to proceed.  

Turn yourself in. But before doing so, write down the phone numbers of friends, family members and your lawyer. Also, do not bring any personal property, including your vehicle, to the station.

Understand the process. Once you turn yourself in the police will have 24 hours to either let you go free or present you to a judge.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The NoVa Law Firm

If you have a warrant out for your arrest and are unsure of how to proceed, consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is always a good idea. At The NoVa Law Firm, we have provided our clients with comprehensive and aggressive legal defenses for nearly 15 years. We take pride in protecting your rights as we work to resolve your case. For a free consultation, call us today at (703) 352-9347 or contact us online.

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About the Author: Eric Clingan

About the Author: Eric Clingan

Eric Clingan is an experienced Criminal Defense attorney and the founder of the NoVA Law firm. He focuses his practice on defending residents of Northern Virginia charged with DUIs, reckless driving, drug charges, and other criminal accusations

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