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Southern California Arrest Warrants

Warrant Out For Your Arrest?

Many people do not realize that running away from the law will make their situation far worse and the penalties more severe. When a warrant has been issued for your arrest, it means that criminal charges have been filed against you and that based on a probable cause affidavit, an investigating officer has convinced a judge or magistrate to sign off on a warrant authorizing any officer to arrest you and take you into custody to answer for the charges against you. A judge can also issue an arrest warrant on their own when someone fails to show up for a court appearance that they have been ordered to attend. This type of warrant is typically referred to as a "bench warrant." Having such a warrant hanging over your head can be very stressful and also cause serious legal and financial trouble for the individual who is the subject of the warrant. Instead of running away from the law, the wiser and more practical approach would be to seek the counsel of an experienced Santa Clarita, Ventura, or Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible who can explain how to have an arrest warrant recalled or "quashed."

It is important for those who have a warrant out for their arrest to be familiar with the following:

  • What is an Arrest Warrant?
  • How is an Arrest Warrant Issued?
  • What Details Must an Arrest Warrant Include in Order to be Valid?
  • Defending Against an Arrest Warrant
  • Getting the Aggressive Defense You Need

At the Kann California Defense Group our arrest warrant lawyers understand the frightening nature of being wanted by the police and can aid you in facing a warrant in addition to removing such warrants. Our legal team has years of experience in all manner of criminal defense and understands that getting an arrest warrant recalled is a major victory for an individual who simply wants to get their life back on track. Those facing arrest warrants should not waste any time in contacting a skilled lawyer to protect them and help them make the best decisions for their specific situation during such a stressful time.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

In California, police officers can arrest a suspect for committing a crime with or without a warrant. Often, arrests without a warrant can be made at the scene of a crime when an officer has "probable cause" for the arrest based on the officer's direct observations at the scene or statements taken from witnesses. However, many arrests come later. In many instances, officers will complete a criminal investigation and then request that a judge or magistrate issue a warrant.

An arrest warrant is a court order that provides law enforcement officers with the authority to seek out the subject and arrest him or her. A judge will usually issue arrest warrants following a grand jury indictment or after a "probable cause declaration" is provided to them by a police officer or an investigator for the prosecuting agency such as the District Attorney's office or the City Attorney' office.

How is an Arrest Warrant Issued?

A judge usually issues an arrest warrant on the basis of an officer's or prosecutor's declaration that the subject is responsible for committing a crime. The law enforcement officer will still be required to demonstrate "probable cause" for requesting the warrant. What this means is that there must be probable cause to believe that criminal activity is or has taken place. Sometimes, a grand jury may be convened in order to establish whether there is sufficient information to believe that a person committed the alleged offense. This could lead to an indictment and a judge could issue a warrant for the person's arrest. An arrest warrant can be executed whenever the police encounter the subject, including at his or her residence or place of work. Officers do not need to bring an actual copy of the arrest warrant when they make the arrest.

What Details Must an Arrest Warrant Include in Order to be Valid?

Under California Penal Code Section 815, a valid arrest warrant is required to include:

  • the name of the defendant;
  • the crime the defendant is accused of committing;
  • the date and time at which it was issued;
  • the city or county where it was issued;
  • the signature and title of the judge who issued it; and
  • the court where it was issued.

If the document does not include any of these items, the arrest may be deemed illegal and the circumstances of the case may be altered in the defendant's favor.

Defending Against an Arrest Warrant

Because an arrest warrant is not a criminal charge, but rather a means of allowing law enforcement to arrest a person for a crime, those facing arrest must handle the situation differently. It is most important to understand what is considered to be illegal when facing an arrest warrant, as taking such actions may result in more serious charges in court. If you flee, such as leaving the state or country while wanted for arrest, you will face further charges. However, many defendants are accused of fleeing but did not know they were wanted. To prevent further charges, a person must show that he or she did not know of their charges or warrant.

In many cases when a new charge is filed, the subject of the arrest warrant will receive a call from an investigator notifying them that a warrant has been issued and that they have the option of turning themselves in or they will be arrested once the police find them. This is the point at which you must call an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Rather than turning you into police directly and expose you to possible interrogation by law enforcement that may bolster their case against you or lead to new charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney will take you to court along with a trusted bail bondsman, have the court clerk pull your file have your case heard by the judge.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will explain to the judge that you have come to court voluntarily to deal with your case and argue that it would be appropriate to allow you to remain out of custody on your own recognizance, or if bail is to be set, it should be set at a minimal amount. If the court is not willing to release you on your own recognizance, then the bail bondman is right there with you in court to arrange your bail, and in most cases, you will not have to spend one day in jail. In addition, most bail bondsmen will offer you a better rate if you are represented by an attorney than if you are not. The same scenario applies if you appear in court after a bench warrant has been issued as the result of missing a court appearance. It is always best to show up in court voluntarily with an experienced criminal defense attorney after a warrant has been issued rather than showing up in shackles and an orange jumpsuit because you were picked up on the street.

Getting the Aggressive Defense You Need

If you know you are being sought by authorities and you flee, you will be considered a fugitive from justice. On the other hand, if you did not know about the existence of a warrant and were not informed about it, then you may not be considered "fleeing from the law." However, this must be proven to the authorities in order to keep such charges from being added to the ones for which you are already sought for.

If you are facing an arrest warrant or are apprehensive about the consequences of a warrant, please contact the attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group. Our experienced legal team will answer your questions and work diligently to clear your warrants and help you avoid serious penalties. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.