It’s possible that people can have warrants issued for them and not even realize it. These warrants won’t go away on their own, so they basically follow you forever. Imagine being pulled over for a simple traffic stop only to end up being arrested for a warrant you weren’t aware of.
What Are Warrants and How Do They Work?
Arrest warrants are official documents signed by judges that authorize law enforcement officers to arrest individual (s) specified in the warrant. In addition, warrants identify the type of crime allegedly committed by the individual (s) named in the warrant and may also specifically describe the time and manner law enforcement can make the arrest. Warrants deemed "bench warrants" or "no bail warrants" are assigned to people who failed to appear previously in court and usually state that the arrested individual cannot be released from jail on bail while waiting for their court appearance.
How Do You Know If An Arrest Warrant Has Been Issued?
Depending on the type of illegal activities you have engaged in, you may or may not know if a warrant has been issued in your name. One way to find out is to call your local courthouse and ask the clerk. You might also learn about active warrants by putting your name in the search bar of your municipal court website. In some cases, people may have arrest warrants out on them for years and not realize it until they are stopped for a driving infraction and the police officer runs their name through the system.
Arrest Warrants Do Not Expire
Arrest warrants are ageless. If an arrest warrant was issued for you 20 years ago, you can still be arrested for the reasons listed on the warrant. Since most local law enforcements to do not spend time actively searching for people with bench warrants who committed misdemeanors, you could get by for a long time without being apprehended. However, having an arrest warrant hanging over you can make your life difficult and complicated. For example:
- If you know you have a warrant issued in your name, you won't be able to move around freely and without constantly worrying about the police locating you
- You won't be able to receive Social Security benefits
- You won't be able to apply for a passport
- You won't be able to apply for jobs that perform background checks
- You can't get your driver's license or car registration renewed
Also, if you were issued a warrant after you renewed your license or registration, any police officer driving behind you can run your license plate number through the system and learn you have a warrant issued for you.
Get Your Life Back On Track By Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have warrants issued for you, then getting assistance from an experienced attorney is the best move. They can help you navigate the legal process. Usually these steps include: turning yourself in instead or being arrested, posting bail on your behalf and preparing for your day in court. In some cases, we may be able to reduce your sentence by making a plea deal with prosecutors, depending on the charges. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes today to schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense attorneys.