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What is an Arrest Warrant?

Getting an arrest warrant can be a frightening experience. After all, an arrest warrant allows a law enforcement officer to come to your home or work at any time and place you under arrest. By understanding why an arrest warrant is issued, and what happens after it is served, you can be better prepared to deal with an arrest warrant issued against you.

Why is an Arrest Warrant Issued?

There are several situations in which an arrest warrant can be issued during a criminal case. At the beginning of the case, an arrest warrant can be issued as soon as charges are filed against you. This typically occurs with serious offenses. By issuing an arrest warrant, the court ensures that the defendant appears in court to answer the charges against him (or her). Less serious offenses will sometimes be accompanied by a summons instead of an arrest warrant. If you fail to appear in court at the time indicated on your summons, the judge can then issue an arrest warrant due to your failure to appear in court. This is why it is so important to respond to a summons.

Once you have made your initial appearance in court, you will likely be given the opportunity to be released on bail (for serious charges) or your own recognizance (for less serious charges). Recognizance means that you promise to appear in court at the next scheduled hearing. If you skip bail, fail to appear, or violate any of your other pretrial release conditions (such as staying away from an alleged victim), a warrant can be issued for your arrest.

If you plead guilty in a plea agreement or are found guilty at trial, you will likely have sentencing conditions. These conditions might include abstaining from drugs or alcohol, performing community service, or meeting with a probation officer. Failure to meet these conditions can also result in a warrant for your arrest.

What Can My Attorney Do After an Arrest Warrant is Issued?

The goal of any arrest warrant is to ensure that the defendant appears in court. Because your attorney will have to appear in court to challenge an arrest warrant, it is usually a moot point. But challenging the arrest warrant is not the focus of most criminal cases. An attorney’s work is targeted toward other specific goals. For example, your attorney might need to convince the court to reduce your bail so that you can be released before trial. Maybe you need to prove that you did not violate your pretrial release conditions or the conditions of your community supervision in order to avoid an improper additional charge for contempt of court. These are important issues that an experienced attorney can resolve.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers for All Murfreesboro Cases

An arrest warrant is only the beginning of a long process in the criminal court. A defendant has constitutional rights that offer protection at all stages of the proceedings, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to defend these rights at all times. Call (615) 890-1982 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation at Dotson and Taylor. We fight hard for Murfreesboro defendants.