There are a number of ways a warrant might be issued for your arrest, and you might not even know about it at first. You might have an unpaid traffic ticket, you might have left an altercation only to have the police arrive and issue a warrant based on what the other person said, or you might actually know that you are wanted as a suspect in a crime. If you think there might be a warrant out for your arrest, here's what to do.
Don't Just Ignore It
Never try to ignore a warrant. You will only make things worse.
If there is a warrant out for your arrest, you can be arrested at any time. You might get pulled over for a burned out brake light, or the police might come to your door to serve the warrant.
If this happens, you will immediately be brought to jail. This could cause you to miss an important family event or to miss work and be fired from your job.
Find Out What the Warrant is For
If there is a warrant, you need to find out what crime is alleged and what jurisdiction issued it. You will need to go to the court where the warrant was issued, not your local court, to resolve it, and the reason for the warrant will dictate your actions.
Unpaid fines can often immediately be resolved by paying the fines, while a warrant for a crime might mean that you will be booked into a jail for fingerprinting before you can see a judge to post bail.
Take Time Off of Work
Immediately request time off from work so that you can take care of the warrant. You can simply state "personal reasons" if you don't feel comfortable disclosing the exact reason. However, if you are in a sensitive position, you may be required to disclose that you are under investigation for a crime.
Take at least two days off for unpaid fines and a couple of weeks for criminal warrants. This ensures that you won't get in trouble at work for not showing up if you're kept in jail overnight or are ordered to come back to court. You'll also need time to find and meet with an attorney before going to court.
To discuss your options if you believe there might be a warrant out for your arrest, contact LaCross & Murphy, PLLC or a similar firm.