What exactly is an arrest warrant and how can it affect you? An arrest warrant is a judge’s order to law enforcement to arrest a person and bring them to jail for a crime. Arrest warrants are not issued haphazardly, someone such as a victim, the district attorney, or a police officer must first make a sworn statement that the individual committed some sort of a crime.
The arrest warrant itself must contain specific information about the accused including: (1) their name (2) it must list the offense (3) it must be signed by the magistrate, and his or her office must be contained in the body of the warrant. The magistrate is a person who has the legal authority to administer the law, who often exercises judicial functions.
Finding out you have an arrest warrant can be a very unpleasant experience. Either a police officer could show up at your home unexpectedly (often times in the early hours of the morning), or they can pull you over on a traffic infraction only to discover a warrant for your arrest. Either way, you’re in trouble and in need of legal assistance. An arrest warrant can lead to a criminal conviction, which could include jail or prison time, heavy fines, probation or parole.
Often times people have an arrest warrant for minor offenses such as not paying their traffic fines or tickets, other times they have an arrest warrant issued when they failed to appear in court, or when they violated a term of their probation (http://www.houstoncriminallaw.com/Criminal-Defense/Probation-Violations.aspx) or parole. One can also have an arrest warrant issued if the police have probable cause that the person has committed a crime. In any case, anyone with a warrant for their arrest can be arrested at any time. The last thing a person should do is run from the law. If you suspect that you have a warrant out for your arrest, then you should immediately contact a Houston criminal defense attorney.
If you are unsure if you have an arrest, your lawyer can help you conduct a search in order to confirm if there is in fact a warrant issued. If there is, your attorney will be able to address the situation head-on. If there was an error made by law enforcement, or a false statement made by a witness or even a downright fabrication, your lawyer will be able to find it. In any case, your attorney will be able to fully assess the situation in order to come up with the most workable solution, with the least amount of consequences. If there is a warrant for your arrest issued, a strong and intelligent defense will be your greatest asset when trying to reduce or eliminate the consequences that you are presently facing. Please, take a moment to secure the best outcome possible by discussing your situation with a highly skilled criminal defense attorney.