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Is there a warrant out for your arrest?
What is a Warrant?
A warrant is a document issued/signed by a judge or by a magistrate that gives the police the authority to take the person named in the warrant into custody. While warrants all allow you to be taken into custody, that is, to be arrested by the police, not all warrants are the same:
- Bench Warrants. This is the most common type of warrant. They are issued by a judge or a magistrate if the defendant fails to appear in court as required for a court hearing. The underlying offense could be as minor as a traffic summons, or it could be for failure to appear for a misdemeanor or felony charge. Bench warrant may also be issued for an alleged probation violation.
- Arrest Warrants. These are warrants that permit law enforcement to arrest an individual based upon a reasonable belief that the individual has committed a crime.
The consequences of being taken into custody on a bench warrant or on an arrest warrant depend to some degree on the underlying reasons the warrant was issued in the first place.
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Is Failure to Appear a Crime?
In addition to whatever led to the issue of the bench warrant, the failure to appear is itself a separate offense under Arizona law.
- Failure to Appear on Misdemeanor Offense. If the underlying offense is a misdemeanor or a petty offense, and you either knowingly failure to appear, or failed to appear after you were given written notice or promised to appear, you can be charged with second degree failure to appear. R.S. 13-2506. It is either a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor, depending upon the facts in your case.
- Failure to Appear on Felony Offense. Failure to appear after being required to do so in connection with a felony case is also a separate offense – a class 5 felony.
Clearly, ignoring a court date and/or a warrant does not make the problem go away. It only increases the potential consequences.
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How Can I Resolve and Outstanding Warrant?
The way to deal with a warrant – whether it is a bench warrant or an arrest warrant – is to obtain advice from an experienced Phoenix warrant lawyer. Here are some of the possible ways to resolve a warrant:
- Bench Warrant Failure to Appear. This is the most common type of warrant, and in some cases, you might be unaware of the existence of the warrant until you are picked up by the police. In those situations, you can usually post a bond to secure your release from jail, and then have your attorney deal with the underlying issue that led to the court appearance that you missed. If you know that the warrant exists, and it arose as the result of a traffic violation or other minor infraction, we can often have the warrant quashed, and remove the threat of being picked up by the police.
- Arrest Warrant. If an arrest warrant is issued based upon allegations that you have committed a crime, Ignoring the facts will only make your situation worse. Speak to an experienced criminal attorney at the Law Office of Adam Feldman and we will seek to resolve the issue without undue inconvenience or embarrassment to you, so that you can move forward with your life.
No matter what the specifics of your case may be, ignoring a warrant can only aggravate your situation, and add to the penalties you may suffer.
Warrant Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ
Anyone can find themselves having an outstanding warrant, whether it’s for failure to appear for a traffic summons, or for a more serious matter. In some cases, you may not have received adequate notice of the appearance, or some other factor may have prevented you from showing up in court. But whatever the reason for the issuance of the warrant, the worst thing you can do is to pretend that it doesn’t exist. The fact is that eventually you will be picked up by the police, and in the meantime, you’ll be living in fear that you could end up in jail at any moment.
At The Feldman Law Firm, we can help. Whether it involves an application to quash the warrant, or some other procedure to get the warrant taken care of with a minimum of inconvenience to you, we know what it will take to resolve the issue so that you no longer have to live your life looking over your shoulder. Call us for a free consultation.