Realizing you have a warrant for your arrest is never a good thing. Finding out about that warrant during a routine traffic stop with friends or family in the vehicle, or under other equally awkward circumstances, is even worse. If you have reason to believe you have an active warrant, however, what can you do about it? Living in the shadows isn’t a very attractive option for most people. Can an Omaha criminal defense attorney help you if you have an active warrant?
Reasons Why You Might Have an Active Warrant for Your Arrest
Contrary to what many people think, having an active warrant for your arrest does not mean you did something seriously wrong. Sometimes, a warrant is the result of an honest mistake or oversight. In fact, there are many reasons why a person might have an active warrant for their arrest, including:
• Failing to appear – without a doubt, one of the most common reasons people end up with an arrest warrant is failing to appear for a court appearance. If you have a criminal case pending, the court should have informed you of your next scheduled court date when you posted bond or at your last court date. Whether you intentionally failed to appear, or there was an honest mix up, the court will usually issue a warrant for your arrest and worry about the explanation when you are brought before the court.
• Suspect in a criminal investigation – if the police are investigating a major crime, and they believe they have the probable cause necessary to charge someone with that crime, they will ask a judge to sign a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.
• Probation violation – if you are currently on probation, and your probation officer files a notice of violation with the sentencing court, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest based on the alleged violation of your conditions of probation.
• Violation of release conditions – if you posted bail to secure your release while a criminal prosecution is pending, that release comes with certain conditions. A violation of those release conditions could cause the court (or bondsman) to revoke your bail. That, in turn, will cause the court to re-evaluate your pre-trial release and may cause an arrest warrant to be issued.
• Child support arrearage – if you are significantly behind on your child support payments, the court could issue an arrest warrant and attach a cash bond in an amount equal to your arrearage in the hope that you will pay at least a decent percentage
What Are Your Options If You Have a Warrant?
Once you are made aware that you have an active warrant for your arrest, there are only a few viable options you have for handling the situation, including:
• Doing nothing – this option might work for a short period of time; however, the warrant will catch up to you eventually – and likely at the most inopportune time. Imagine driving down the roadway with your family and then being hauled away to jail because of routine traffic stop or watching television with friends at home and answering the door to police officers looking for you.
• Attempting to hide or run – your self-preservation instinct might tell you to run or hide; however, you probably already know that this tactic won’t work for long. Moreover, when you are caught, the judge deciding what to do with you will not be happy that you tried to evade capture.
• Turning yourself in – turning yourself in is definitely the best option; however, do not go it alone. While it will likely mitigate any damage done by a failure to appear, you should never face a judge without an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
• Turning to an experienced Omaha criminal defense attorney –– your best option for handling an arrest warrant is to turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney for help. Your attorney can help in several ways. First, your attorney can confirm that you have a warrant and why. Second, your attorney may be able to speak to the prosecuting attorney ahead of time and reach an agreement with regard to bail. Of course, the court would still need to approve that agreement. Finally, even absent an agreement, your attorney can begin preparing for when you turn yourself in by requesting an immediate bond review and being ready to fight for your release. The simple fact that you voluntarily turned yourself in and hired an attorney both show that you are invested in your own defense and that you will appear at all future court appearances.
Contact an Omaha Criminal Defense Attorney at Petersen Law Office
If you are concerned that you have an active arrest warrant in the State of Nebraska, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away to discuss turning yourself into the court. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.