What do I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?
One of the scariest things you can encounter in our judicial system is finding out that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.
When a warrant is issued, this means that police will actively be looking for you. They will arrest you on the spot if you are found and bring you to the local county jail.
If you find out there is a warrant for your arrest, there are two basic options you have:
1. Turn yourself in to the police.
For this option, you will have to go through the necessary procedures of being incarcerated, such as dressing in jail attire and having your personal belongings inventoried. You will then sit until your processing is complete. Once processed, you will be seen by a bond court Judge who will listen to the facts of the case and charges, and decide what type of bond to issue. There are two main types of bond:
A. Individual Bond (I-Bond) / Personal Recognizance Bond: This type of bond requires no cash payment to get out of jail. You will sign a document stating that you will come to court and the Judge trusts that you will show up.
B. Detainer Bond: This type of bond requires a cash payment (or in extreme cases, some type of valuable asset) to ensure that you show up to court. You are only required to pay 10% of the amount set by the Judge. If your bond is set at $10,000, then you would only be required to post $1,000 to be released from jail. This money will be returned to you at the end of your case (minus an administrative fee).
2. Wait for the police to arrest you.
This option is generally not preferable, as you are at risk of being arrested at any time of day or night, no matter what you are doing. The police can come to your place of employment, while you are shopping, or doing anything else. They can also come directly to your home to arrest you. However, you do not have to answer the door if police come to your home solely with an arrest warrant. Police need a search warrant to enter your home without your consent, in conjunction with the arrest warrant.
3. Other Circumstances.
Sometimes there may be situations such as the warrant being issued without cause, merit, or in error. If you feel that this may be the case, you should contact an attorney who can file a motion to quash the arrest warrant. In some cases, you may be able to go directly to the courthouse with your attorney to have your motion heard. If it is successfully quashed, then you will no longer have the risk of arrest
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