An arrest warrant is a type of criminal law document. It grants law enforcement the authority to arrest the person named in the document. Arrest warrants must be signed by a judge in order to be enforceable. Before the judge signs it, they must check to ensure that it includes the proper information. This includes:
- The type of crime involved in the investigation;
- Information that provides the required probable cause that the named person is responsible for the crime listed;
- Name and location of the arrestee; and
- Various other items of information.
Arrest warrants are generally issued in connection with criminal investigations. They help the investigation to move forward, as the person being arrested may be key to concluding the investigation and trial.
What Happens After a Warrant is Issued?
Once an arrest warrant is signed and valid, law enforcement authorities can then arrest the person at any time and place they can be found and bring them into police custody. There may however be some restrictions on how or where the individual named can be arrested. This all depends on the details of each case as well as the judge’s approval.
An arrest warrant can sometimes grant the police various powers to complete the arrest. For instance, they are often able to enter a person’s home or property, or another person’s home or property, in order to arrest them and bring them into custody.
When Can I Be Arrested After the Warrant is Issued?
Once the warrant is issued, police may begin searching for the person immediately. This means that the person can be arrested as soon as the arrest warrant issued and the person is found. There is no required waiting period or delay before the police can begin seeking the individual.
Generally, a person will not receive notification if an arrest warrant has been issued for them. On the other hand, some states may allow people to conduct a search in court records to see if an arrest warrant has been issued in connection with them.
However, it is important to consider if there is any reason why a warrant might be issued for your arrest. From serious crimes like robbery or hit-and-run to even something as minor as an unpaid parking ticket, there are many reasons why there could be a warrant for your arrest.
Can You Pay for a Warrant to Go Away?
This depends on the underlying reason why the arrest warrant was issued to begin with. For instance, suppose that the arrest warrant was issued because you are wanted in connection with a criminal investigation. In this type of scenario, you can’t just pay the court to have the arrest warrant go away.
On the other hand, arrest warrants are sometimes issued in cases where a person has outstanding payments on a specific matter. As an example, arrest warrants are often issued for unpaid speeding tickets. In this case, it may be possible for you to pay off the tickets (and any fines) to have the warrant cleared.
As a general rule, it usually isn’t possible to have an arrest warrant removed through payment if it is connected with a felony crime.
Is a Warrant for Arrest the Same as a Bench Warrant?
No. Arrest warrants are issued in connection with a crime or criminal investigation. In contrast, bench warrants are issued in connection with someone who has been charged with contempt of court.
Bench warrants may be issued for contempt issues such as:
However, a bench warrant can also result in jail time. Especially if you continue to refuse, or are unable to, comply with the order. Typically, when you receive the order, like for child support, the judge will let you know what consequences you will face if you fail to keep up with your payments.
What If I Did Not Commit a Crime?
It can sometimes happen that an arrest warrant is issued for a person even if they didn’t directly commit a crime. This can happen for instance in cases where the person is suspected of being an accessory to a crime. It can also happen in cases of mistaken identity, where the wrong person is being suspected in a crime.
But even if you did not commit a crime and the warrant was wrongfully issued, you will still be arrested. The police will have to take you in and it may be some time until the issue is cleared/resolved. Insisting that the arresting officer(s) have the wrong person will not release you from custody. So long as the name on the warrant matches your name and identification, you will not be able to avoid the warrant.
If you think that a warrant has been wrongly issued for you, you should speak with a criminal attorney immediately. Your attorney can look into the matter and determine what can be done to have the situation corrected or remedied. In any event, having a warrant on your record is a serious situation, so you should contact an attorney any time you discover that an arrest warrant has been issued for you.
Can an Arrest Warrant Expire or Go Away?
Most warrants are executed immediately or shortly after they are signed by a judge. However, there can be circumstances where the warrant is not executed immediately, and can stay attached to the person’s name for some time. This is called an outstanding warrant.
Whether or not an arrest warrant can expire or go away will generally depend on the nature of the charge for which it is issued. Generally speaking, most arrest warrants for felony crimes will not expire.
Thus, there can be situations where an arrest warrant stays on a person’s record for years or even decades after it was originally issued. This can often show up in situations such as a routine traffic stop or during a background check for employment.
On the other hand, warrants issued for misdemeanor crimes can often expire after a certain time period, such as 180 days or one year. This all depends on the crime as well as jurisdictional laws.
If you believe you have an outstanding warrant on your record, then you should speak to an attorney to determine your legal rights and what you can do in connection with the warrant. Having a warrant on your record can create issues in many areas of your life.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have a Warrant Out for My Arrest?
Arrest warrants can have serious effects on one’s criminal record, and in turn, their lives. You may need to hire a criminal lawyer in your area immediately if you need help with any type of arrest warrant issue. Getting rid of an arrest warrant can be difficult, but it can be possible in several situations. Contact an attorney for advice and guidance for your protection.