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I was arrested for a warrant that I did not kow existed. Is this legal?

Austin, TX |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I was arrested in May 2009 for a warrant that apparently was issued in January. I was stopped for an expired Inspection sticker. Next thing I know, I am in handcuffs. The warrant (I think) was from an indictment of the grand jury when I did not show up to court. I was NEVER notified that any charge had been filed against me. I was never served any court hearing date papers. Isn't a constable supposed to serve me? I was never notified that a warrant had been placed for my arrest. It took two days after being released that I was able to find out what it was all about. I just want to know the due process of law. Is this legal to do to people? My whereabouts was not an issue.

Thank you all for your advice. I completely understand about the warrant issue. I guess my question is should I have been notified or served papers to appear in court? I have been ordered to appear in court before and each time a constable came to my house and served the papers. I understand that my failure to appear resulted in the warrant being issued. I was never notified that charges were going to be/had been filed and I never received a court appearance date. No constable ever came to my home or any sort of paperwork. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


This happens all the time in Texas. A warrant can be issued at any time by magistrate, providing probable cause exists to believe that you have committed a crime. Lack of knowledge of the existence of the warrant does not vitiate its viability. You need to hire a good lawyer immediately.

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No, an arrest warrant can be executed against you anywhere you are found.

Think of it this way. If the police had to give every criminal notice he was about to be arrested before the actual arrest, there would be lots more attempt to avoid arrest and far fewer criminal in custody. So, as a society we are well served in allowing the police to do their job.

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The police don't need to notify you when there is a warrant out for your arrest. If they did that, then many people would flee to avoid arrest. If you feel the warrant was issued improperly, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney who will be able to determine if that is the case.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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