Should I Call a Lawyer if There’s a Warrant for My Arrest?

Knowing that there is an arrest warrant against your name could cause extreme stress. It doesn’t matter if your crime was major or trivial, the very thought that a cop would come to your place and take you to jail can be awful. So, what to do if there’s a warrant against you?

Generally, you might wonder if you should call a lawyer. It’s important you learn more about your individual scenario and do not make decisions in haste—particularly ones that could worsen the condition; gather facts to learn the right things to do.

Arrest Warrant or Bench Warrant?

Generally, a warrant is issued when you miss a court-assigned date or skip a penalty—such as community service, a fine, or parole check-in—mandated by the court. Based on the offense alleged, either an arrest warrant or bench warrant would be issued against your name.

Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant is basically a warrant ordering your arrest for a crime you committed. The court decides to issue the warrant if there’s strong legal reasoning about your alleged role in the crime. A hypothetical context for issuance of an arrest warrant will be a traffic camera capturing your actions that led to a road accident and you fleeing the scene immediately thereafter. Once the evidence has been analyzed by the police and you appear to be the prime suspect, they would issue a warrant against you.

Bench Warrant

Though not as severe as an arrest warrant, bench warrants may still lead to an arrest in case you were not careful enough during the warrant period. A bench warrant is issued in both criminal and civil cases. For instance, the warrant could be issued when a court date is missed by the defendant or a legal order isn’t complied with.

The warrant could also be issued for missed payments relating to child support, failure to show up for jury duty, or non-payment of a traffic ticket. The police, unlike a regular arrest warrant, may not search for you actively to fulfill the warrant duties. However, if you happen to get stopped by a police officer for some offense, there are chances of the hidden warrant being found out and you may then get arrested by the police for the same. Thereafter, things would have to be dealt with by the court.

Stay Proactive

Before doing something unwise or amateur, you must first verify if there is really an arrest warrant against you. Once that has been confirmed, consider the legal options at your disposal. Contact Raybin & Weissman, P.C. for assistance with handling such arrest warrant scenarios.