Finding out that there is a warrant out for your arrest is an earth-shattering revelation. Most of us don’t have the first idea about what we should do in this particular situation.
What You Shouldn’t Do
The mistake that many people make is ignoring the situation and trying to go through life as if a warrant for their arrest doesn’t exist. This is the exact wrong approach. All this really accomplishes is putting you in a situation where you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. You will live in a constant state of worry. Not a day will go by when you don’t expect the police to knock at your door or for you to be pulled over and arrested.
One of the reasons so many people choose to ignore the warrant is that they hope that if they can stay under the radar long enough, the warrant will expire. That’s not going to happen. Despite what many people seem to think, there’s no expiration date or statute of limitations on arrest warrants. It remains in effect until you’ve been arrested.
In most situations, ignoring the fact that there’s a warrant out for your arrest only delays the inevitable. Sooner or later, you will be arrested.
What You Should Do
When there is a warrant out for your arrest, there’s a series of steps you should take.
First, you want to make sure the warrant is an actual thing and not just a rumor. The simplest way to confirm the existence of the warrant is by using one of the websites that provide arrest and warrant information. It’s highly likely that the county where you suspect the warrant originated in will have the information you need available on its own website.
In addition to confirming the warrant’s existence, you should also gain some additional and useful information that includes:
- Date of the alleged offense
- When the charges were filed
- How many charges do you face and what are those charges are
- A brief description of the offense
- The issuing County Sheriff or City Police Department
- Case type
Once you know all the facts connected to the warrant, it’s a good idea to meet with your lawyer and alert them to the situation. The advanced warning gives them time to start preparing for an arraignment so that you will hopefully be granted a low bail amount. Your lawyer will also be able to guide you through the voluntary surrender process, so it goes as smoothly as possible.
After learning the details of the warrant and meeting with your lawyer, a voluntary surrender really is your best option. This involves you going to the police station and turning yourself in. By going to the police station and voluntarily surrendering, you get to control when and where the arrest happens. You’ll find that turning yourself in is far less stressful than having the police show up on your doorstep or place of employment.
Once you’ve been booked and gone through an arraignment, you’ll likely be able to obtain a bail bond and be released from jail.