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A Warrant Has Been Issued for My Arrest, What Does that Mean?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose criminal defense lawyers, warrant for my arrest, bench warrant, arrest warrant, search warrantA warrant is simply a legal order issued by the court authorizing law enforcement officials to perform some specified act in order to further the administration of justice. Warrants are issued in the United States for a variety of reasons but are most commonly used as the basis to:

  • Arrest a suspect;
  • Search a suspect’s home and/or car for evidence of a crime; or
  • Bring a person to court who has ignored a subpoena or a court order to appear.

In California, there are three different types of warrants that can be issued against you; a bench warrant, an arrest warrant, and a search warrant. If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, then it is either a bench warrant or an arrest warrant. Consider these two warrant categories according to California law.

Bench Warrants

A bench warrant is a court order to immediately arrest you. Under section 978.5 of the CA Penal Code, a bench warrant may be issued in California whenever a defendant fails to appear in court as required by law. For example, a bench warrant may be issued against you if you failed to appear in court after:

  • A judge or magistrate ordered you to personally appear at a specific time and place;
  • Being released from custody on bail and the condition that you will appear in court at specific time and place; or
  • Promising to appear in court at a specific time and place as a condition of being released from custody.

If a bench warrant has been issued against you, then a law enforcement officer can arrest you and bring you to jail at any time. If this happens, you may be deemed a flight risk and required to stay in custody until your hearing. Or, if bail is granted and you are able to post it, then you will be released on the condition that you will voluntarily appear at a specified date and time for your hearing.

Please note that under some circumstances an attorney can request that your bench warrant be recalled and that the matter be referred to a judge for resolution.

Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is similar to a bench warrant in that it allows law enforcement officers to immediately arrest you; however, this type of warrant is issued when there is probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, as opposed to a bench warrant that is issued because you failed to appear in court. Probable cause is a complicated legal concept, but for now suffice it to say that probable cause exists when the apparent facts would lead a reasonable person to believe that you committed some specific crime.

Once an arrest warrant is issued against you, then law enforcement officers are authorized to arrest you wherever you are. This means that that they can enter your home, place of employment, etc. and arrest you at any time.

Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

Although it may be tempting to hide from legal issues for as long as you can, it is often in your best interest to address legal troubles head on so that you can get back on track as soon as possible. If you believe that a warrant for your arrest has been issued, or may soon be issued in Northern California, contact the experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyers of Jachimowicz Law Group today. We would be happy to discuss your legal options with you during a free confidential consultation and do everything that we can to help you stay out of jail.








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