Next Steps After A Warrant Has Been Issued

John L. Calcagni III

Is there a warrant for your arrest? If so, call the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III, Inc. today for a free consultation and to develop a strategy to have the warrant removed and to remain out of jail.

An arrest warrant is a court order authorizing police to place a person under arrest or to take them into custody to bring he or she before the Court. Arrest warrants issue in various ways. For instance, when police conducting an investigation develop probable cause to believe that a suspect committed an offense may apply to the Court for an arrest warrant. If a Court concludes, based on its review of the warrant application, that probable cause exists to believe the person committed the suspected offense, the Court will issue a warrant. Another common way that warrants are issued is when a Defendant fails to appear in Court for a scheduled appearance. When the Defendant does not appear, the Court issues what is commonly called a bench warrant or default warrant for the person’s arrest.

Once a warrant is issued, the question remains as to where the warrant is effective. Some warrants are only effective within the state or territory of the Court that issued it. An example is a bench or default warrant issued for a Defendant’s failure to appear may only be effective within the state where the warrant issued. Other warrants may be effective on a nationwide basis. These warrants, known as extraditable warrants, are issued by a Court in a particular state and then entered into a nationwide law enforcement database. Extraditable warrants authorize law enforcement officers in other states to arrest individuals named by the warrants and to hold them without bail pending extradition from the arresting state to the issuing state.

Once an arrest warrant is issued, it may only be removed by the Court that issued it. Removing a warrant is also referred to as withdrawing or vacating a warrant. Under normal circumstances, a warrant will not be removed unless and until the person named in the warrant appears before the Court. In exceptional cases, however, one may petition the Court to remove the warrant in his or her absence. This is called removal of the warrant in the Defendant’s absentia. People appear for warrant removal in one of two circumstances: they are brought before the Court in police custody or they voluntarily appear seeking warrant removal. Once a person appears on a warrant, regardless of manner, the Court will vacate or withdraw the warrant and then decide upon the person’s future bail terms and conditions.

If you know or have reason to believe there is a warrant for your arrest, you should contact legal counsel immediately. A skilled lawyer can research the existence of your warrant to include the Court that issued it and the reason for the warrant such as a default or the filing of new criminal charges. A lawyer may also be able to contact the prosecutor assigned to your case to negotiate the time, manner and place of your voluntary surrender as well as the anticipated bail terms and conditions.
A person who voluntarily surrenders to the Court, as opposed to being involuntarily taken in custody, has a stronger chance of receiving favorable bail terms and conditions necessary for his release. Knowing the bail terms and conditions advocated for by the prosecutor in advance will enable a lawyer and his client to be best prepared with sufficient bail money and other necessary terms and conditions. Sometimes a defense lawyer and prosecutor can reach an agreement regarding voluntary surrender and bail before the defendant appears before the Court. In instances where an advance agreement cannot be reached, it is also advantageous to know the prosecutor’s position on bail before the surrender in order to tailor the defense arguments for bail and release in opposition.

If you have a warrant for your arrest in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York or in federal court, please contact MA Criminal Defense Attorney John L. Calcagni III and the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III. Inc. at (508) 213-9113. Attorney Calcagni and his experienced legal team have a proven track record for voluntarily surrendering clients on pending arrest warrants and securing their release on bail.