Often when you are charged with a crime, it follows your arrest by the police, such as when you are pulled over and charged with DUI or if you are apprehended during or immediately after a crime such as a robbery or assault. Sometimes, though, individuals are arrested and charged with crimes well after the alleged incident has taken place. Other times, individuals can be arrested not for committing a crime but for failing to abide by an order of a court.
In those situations, a judge can issue a warrant which authorizes law enforcement to take you into custody. It is important to understand what these warrants are, when they are issued, and what steps you should take if you discover that one has been issued against you.
As the name implies, an arrest warrant is a directive to police to find you and take you into custody. An arrest warrant will be issued by a judge if prosecutors present him or her with evidence that probable cause exists that you have committed a criminal offense. The warrant must specify the name of the person to be arrested, must set forth the offense the subject of the warrant is being accused of and must be signed by a judge or magistrate.
When judges issue orders, they do not like it when those orders are ignored or disregarded, to say the least. If you have been ordered to appear in court on a given date but fail to appear, or have been ordered to pay child support and failed to do so, to just give two examples, the judge can issue a bench warrant directing police to arrest you and bring you before the judge. At that time, the judge can hold you in contempt of court and subject you to jail time among other consequences.
Many people find themselves facing a warrant for their arrest because of unaddressed traffic tickets. There are two types of warrants involving traffic tickets. An alias warrant can be issued if you fail to appear on the date set for hearing on your ticket or otherwise take no action to address the ticket. If you have addressed your ticket but failed to pay the fine or abide by any other conditions or agreements made with the court regarding your driving privileges, the court can issue a capias warrant for your arrest.
No matter what kind of warrant has been issued against you, it is crucial that you retain an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after discovering that one has been issued. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to take proactive steps that can help you avoid the hardship and embarrassment of being arrested and can work with you to keep you out of jail and avoid the other harsh consequences of being convicted of a crime.
Mark Diaz – Experienced Houston/Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you have been charged with a crime, you need an experienced lawyer who focuses exclusively on defending criminal cases and who will aggressively protect your rights. Throughout my career, I have successfully handled every type of criminal defense case. More importantly, criminal defense is the only thing I do. I have witnessed firsthand how a criminal charge can negatively impact every area of a person’s life. As a lawyer, I consider it a privilege to help people during this stressful time in their lives. Call me today at (409) 515-6170 for a free consultation to discuss your case.