An arrest warrant is an order issued by a judge to apprehend the named person. Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not know that you have an outstanding warrant in your name. Whether or not you're aware that police officers have an order to arrest you, there are generally only two ways to clear it: your being apprehended or a judge recalling it.
What Is an Arrest Warrant?
In Florida, a judge may issue an arrest warrant when they have found that probable cause exists that you committed an offense.
Arrest warrants can be issued for several different reasons, the most common being:
- Failure to appear: Not showing up for a scheduled court date
- Probation violations: Failing to adhere to the conditions of probations
- Criminal investigations: Being a suspect of a crime
Certain criteria must be met before a court can issue an arrest warrant. These include:
- A complaint filed for a misdemeanor charge,
- The initial summons was returned unserved, and
- The judge finds there is probable cause that a crime was committed
Who Can Execute an Arrest Warrant?
A judge can issue an arrest warrant only for offenses committed in their jurisdiction. However, when the writ is ordered, it gets sent to all sheriff's departments in the state. That means nearly every police officer may be aware that you are to be taken into custody.
Although all law enforcement officers might be aware of your warrant, not all can arrest you. Generally, only those in the jurisdiction in which your alleged offense occurred can take you into custody. However, if you are running from the cops (in fresh pursuit), any officer can arrest you.
Do I Have a Right to See the Arrest Warrant?
If a police officer is making an arrest based on a warrant, they must inform you of its existence before taking you into custody. That is unless you are fleeing from them or forcibly resisting arrest. In that case, they do not have to give a verbal warning of the court order. The officer does not need to have the warrant on them to execute an arrest.
Upon being taken into custody, you can ask the officer to show you the warrant, and they must comply.
What Steps Should I Take If I Know a Warrant Has Been Issued in My Name?
Arrest warrants do not have expiration dates. If you have reason to believe that a court has ordered your arrest, act quickly to clear the matter up. As mentioned earlier, your warrant can be cleared by your arrest or a recall.
The first thing to do to clear an arrest warrant is to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney. They can review the circumstances to determine whether or not it is valid. If it is valid, your lawyer can help you understand your legal options and, if necessary, negotiate your voluntary surrender to law enforcement officials.
Additionally, in some cases, the judge may have set a bond at the time of issuing the order. Your attorney can work toward getting you released from jail on bail. This means you would not have to remain in custody until your scheduled court date.
Unfortunately, a "no-bond" warrant may be issued, which means you would have to remain in jail until you are required to appear in court. Your lawyer can help you understand whether or not you can bond out of jail.
If you've been arrested or charged with a crime in Miami, reach out to Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. at (305) 400-0074 or online for the aggressive representation you need.