What Should You Do if There is a Warrant Out for Your Arrest?

Finding out that the police have a warrant out for your arrest can be very alarming, but there is a course of action you can take. Understanding the proper measures to follow after finding out you have an active warrant can protect you and keep you from having any unnecessary interactions with the police without an attorney present.

Understanding the Difference Between an Arrest Warrant and Bench Warrant

When you have an active warrant, it could be one of two things, either a bench warrant or an arrest warrant. It’s important to know the difference, as one has more serious consequences than the other.

A bench warrant is when one fails to show up in court or fails to comply with a court order. This can mean anything from failing to pay a traffic ticket to not appearing for jury duty. This kind of warrant will likely not have the police actively searching for you, but if you are stopped for something as simple as speeding, your warrant will show up in their records, and you can be arrested on the spot.

An arrest warrant is what one may think of first when they hear that a warrant is out for their arrest. This type of warrant is issued when the police submit enough evidence to the court to establish probable cause and indict you for a crime.

Confirm Your Potential Warrant

Before taking any action, get more information on the warrant in question. Find out whether you have one, what type it is and what it’s been issued for. You can do this yourself by looking up the public records on your local county sheriff’s website. Another option is for you to hire a lawyer to do the searching for you. They have access to criminal records that you may not and can explain exactly what the charges mean. In the event that you may need to contact the county sheriff’s office themselves, finding out through a lawyer can keep you from implicating yourself.

Stay Calm and Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Once you can confirm that you have a warrant, don’t do anything impulsive. Trying to remedy the situation yourself or fleeing the law can make the potential consequences worse when the police do catch up with you. Before doing anything else, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area. They can help you understand the full breadth of your legal options, and in some cases, they may even be able to keep you from turning yourself in. Negotiating through a criminal defense attorney is your best bet at protecting yourself and keeping the legal ramifications to a minimum.

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