What Is An Arrest Warrant?


What is an arrest warrant and how do I know if I have one?



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One of the most important background checks you can do on yourself, or on anyone else is to check for arrest warrants. If you have a warrant for arrest and you do nothing about it then it could change your life dramatically for the worse but what exactly is an arrest warrant?

There are in fact two types of warrant and both of them can result in your arrest and possibly send you to prison.

  • Bench Warrants
  • Arrest warrants

Bench Warrants issued by a court

A court may issue a Bench Warrant for various reasons. For instance you may have failed to make an appearance in court when you should have done or you might have unpaid fines or you didn't do the community service that was given to you.

The court can issue a warrant at any time during or after your court case for things that you might do wrong and once it has been issued then the police can come and find and arrest you at any time they want to.

Arrest Warrants applied for by the police

The court can also issue an Arrest Warrant but this time it's the police who applied to the court to get it. The police will do this if they feel that they have sufficient evidence that you may have committed a crime and they want to take you into custody.

You are possibly more likely to get arrested quickly on this type of warrant because the police have a vested interest in your capture. It follows that they are working on an investigation and you've turned up as a suspect so they'll want to talk to you as soon as possible.

What to do if you have a Warrant for Arrest

If you find out that you have a warrant then you should take steps to hand yourself in as soon as possible. You should make every effort to do this before the police come looking for you because you are more likely to get favourable treatment from the court if you do.

You are also strongly advised to engage a lawyer before you give yourself up and let him or her advise you on how to proceed. They will be invaluable at this point because they know exactly what you should do and what you should not do to give you the best chance of a good outcome in court. The main thing is to arrange to present yourself to the court before the police do it for you.

If you are returning on a bench warrant then you most likely have a lawyer that represented you when you were last in court. If possible you should contact the same lawyer again as they will be familiar with your case.

How do I check for an Arrest Warrant

The most important thing to remember if you have a warrant is that you should hand yourself in as soon as possible but "how do I find out if I have an arrest warrant?" You might ask.

There are some methods you can use to find out if you have a warrant in the article How Do I Check For Arrest Warrants? but the easiest and most effective way is to use an online public records database like Court Records - Online information provider Give it a try now.

Did you know that you can do online background checks on practicaly anyone? Why not do one on your financial advisor to make sure that they won't run off with your money. How To Do A Background Check On Your Financial Advisor

See Arrest Warrants for a concise explanation of this topic.

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What Is An Arrest Warrant?

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