Learning that there is a warrant for your arrest may have you racing to find the number of a criminal defense law attorney. Getting counsel is a wise choice, but there are some things you can do even before you've hired a lawyer.
Confirm the Legitimacy of the Warrant
It's not uncommon for folks to learn from another person that a warrant is out for their arrest. This is a scenario where the smart move is to trust the statement but also verify its authenticity.
Fortunately, you can contact the jurisdiction where you believe the warrant was issued. Usually, someone from the county courthouse can point you to whoever might verify the authenticity of a warrant. Even if you get the issuing jurisdiction wrong, there's a good chance the computer system will flag it. Notably, some warrants from across state lines may be hard to confirm if they haven't been shared with other states.
Ask whether there is a warrant and what it appears to be for. Confirm which jurisdiction issued it, and request the appropriate contact information for the issuing party. It's also a good idea to note who you spoke with about it.
Verify Contact Information for Several People Close to You
It's wise to write down the names and numbers of several people who you trust to come to collect you when the court releases you. Getting that information is harder once you're in jail, and leaving it in your possession during jail intake will ensure you can ask someone to get the note. If you've retained the services of a criminal defense law attorney, include their contact information with the note.
Leave Behind All Personal Property
Unless the warrant was issued for something like an unpaid fine or child support, there's a good chance you'll have to turn yourself in on the warrant. Sometimes it's possible to address whatever caused the court to issue the warrant, but never assume this will happen.
It's best to leave any personal property behind at a place where you can trust someone to take care of it. Otherwise, it will be stored at the jail until you are released.
Learn About the Process
Criminal law works differently in each state. Usually, the law requires the police to either release you or take you to an arraignment hearing within 24 to 72 hours. However, that period may be longer due to holidays, emergencies, and other problems. Ask a criminal defense law attorney to clarify what the regulations are in the issuing jurisdiction.Share
14 December 2020
Like many people, I once found learning about law very intimidating. My brother went to law school and I remember glancing through a few of his books and wondering if I was actually reading English due to all of the legal jargon in them! However, when I ended up in a sticky legal situation due to accidentally breaking a small law I didn't know existed, I realized that I needed to learn more about the law, so I could make sure to follow it precisely in the future. My brother helped to break down some complicated legal concepts to me, and I have since been studying up online. I want to post what I have learned and continue to learn about law in the future on my new blog, so my knowledge cannot only help myself, but also help others!