If you believe there’s an outstanding warrant for your arrest, the most important to thing to do is to stay calm. You don’t want to let the gravity of the situation make you do something that you regret later. You also shouldn’t just ignore the situation, either. Ignoring the warrant or running from the authorities leads to to bigger legal trouble in the future.
Keep in mind that, unless you’re wanted for a serious offense, the police will not pursue you, even if they have a warrant. If you’re wanted for failing to appear in court for a domestic issue or drug possession, then they might not even stop by your last known address right away. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to make the it easier to put together a legal defense and avoid making critical mistakes in the process.
What to Do When There’s a Warrant Out for Your Arrest
Use the time you have to research your criminal history and get in touch with an attorney, before you’re arrested without warning. If you have Internet access, you should check the jurisdiction that may have issued the warrant against you.
Official federal, state, and county sites end in either the .gov or .us suffixes. Search your name on any relevant warrant search tools that authorities provide. County and local police in some jurisdictions don’t offer these services, but there are still a few options available to you in this case.
Call the court’s clerk or office depending on the jurisdiction that you believe has a warrant for your arrest. Since numbers can be traced, you may wish to call from something other than your personal phone. Ask if there’s an outstanding warrant for your name without saying that you’re the person in question. You don’t have to identify yourself when asking for this information. While they can’t provide specific information, the clerk or officer of the court should know if there’s a warrant out for you.
After You’ve Done the Legwork
Once you have as much information as possible, and you’re certain there’s a warrant out for you arrest, bring everything you know to a criminal attorney who handles this kind of case. Make sure they’re a defense specialist. They work with you to build a defense against the charges, and they advise you on the best way to diffuse the situation.
In many cases, a defense attorney can accompany you to the courthouse, to save yourself the inconvenience and embarrassment of a public arrest. Certain types of warrants can be handled as soon as you show up with your attorney. You could even avoid any type of arrest if you appear in this fashion to face the charges.