Do you have an outstanding warrant? Below we cover some warrants that might be applicable to your criminal case.
1) Bench Warrant
We see this type of warrant very often. A bench warrant is a warrant that is issued by a judge to bring a person to court. This is usually because a person had a court date in the past and did not show up. This means that there was also an open criminal case at that time, and the case is most likely still open. If you have an active bench warrant, and you are pulled over or have an encounter with law enforcement and they run a search, you can be arrested and brought to court.
What happens if you have a bench warrant?
If you have an active bench warrant, your lawyer would need to go to court to “recall” the warrant so that you don’t get arrested if you encounter law enforcement. Then, you can continue fighting the case that you were supposed to appear on when you originally did not show up to court.
Do you need to go to court with your lawyer to recall a bench warrant?
If the warrant is for a felony, you will have to go to court with your lawyer to recall the warrant. Only under extreme circumstances will the court allow your lawyer to recall your felony bench warrant without you there.
If the warrant is for a recent misdemeanor case, your lawyer will most likely be able to recall the warrant without you there. However, if it is for an older misdemeanor, most judges would like to see the defendant with their lawyer so that the judge can at least get an explanation as to why it took so long to address the warrant.
It is important to speak to a lawyer so that he or she can guide you through the process and advocate for you no matter the circumstances.
2) Arrest Warrant
An arrest warrant is a warrant that can be issued by a judge. It can be the result of a declaration by law enforcement or the prosecutor, or, it can be the result of a grand jury indicting you on criminal charges. In either of these scenarios, it means that the judge believes that there is enough probable cause that you committed a crime.
Speak to a lawyer if you think you have an arrest warrant. We can help you find out whether or not you have an arrest warrant and what it is for. Most importantly, we can reach out to the law enforcement agency and propose a court surrender so that you can proceed in an orderly, safe fashion and post bail. This way, you won’t find yourself in a dangerous situation with law enforcement and there is a possibility you can post bail and not have to go into custody when you fight the case.
Note that law enforcement does not always need an arrest warrant to arrest someone. In many cases, such as when the crime is committed in the presence of the officer, or if the officer believes there is probable cause that a person committed a felony, the officer can arrest the person without a warrant.
3) Search Warrant
A search warrant is a warrant issued by a judge that allows the government to search a person, their car, their home, or even their business. A judge will sign a search warrant if he or she believes that a crime was committed and that evidence of the crime will likely be found at the place described in the search warrant.
However, there are exceptions that allow law enforcement to search even without a warrant. The most common exceptions are when 1) law enforcement makes a lawful arrest of a person and they want to search for weapons that can be used against them or evidence that might be destroyed, 2) when the incriminating evidence is in plain view, 3) when a person gives the officer permission to search, and 4) when an officer temporarily detains someone for questioning and needs to pat the person down for weapons.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, or if you believe there is a warrant for your arrest, OR, if you are under investigation, call our firm at 213-235-7969 and speak to a criminal defense attorney. We pride ourselves on being aggressive and being there for our clients to guide them through the process because we know that going through the criminal justice system can be extremely stressful. We fight criminal charges in LA County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and all over southern California, in both state AND federal court.