How to Deal with an Outstanding Warrant for Your Arrest

So, you learned that there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest. You probably have a lot of questions. What exactly is a warrant? How did you get a warrant for your arrest? How did it become outstanding? What are the rules of warrants in Ohio? What happens after a warrant is issued? What steps should you take next to deal with your outstanding warrant? 

What is a Warrant?

A warrant is an order that is issued by a legal authority that permits someone to take some sort of action against another. The legal authority is someone with legal or administrative powers. In general, this is an order issued by a court judge that allows law enforcement to take actions such as arresting another, seizing property, or search a location or person.

An arrest warrant is a written order that permits law enforcement officials to arrest a person of interest regarding a specific crime that has taken place. To obtain the warrant, evidence is presented to a judge to show that there is probable cause that the suspect is the one who committed the crime.

Probable cause is usually proven by showing evidence that there is a reasonable belief that someone has committed the crime or that circumstances are strong enough to imply that the person may have committed the crime.

After a judge grants an arrest warrant, the police have the right to arrest that person on sight. This usually happens at the person’s home or place of work. It can also happen if the police randomly find the suspect. For example, the person can be arrested if they are pulled over for a traffic violation and the officer becomes aware that there is a warrant for their arrest.

What are the other types of Warrants in Ohio?

Besides the arrest warrant, in Ohio, there are two main types: search and peace warrants. A search warrant: These are issued when it is believed that someone has hidden some specific contraband on either their person or at a certain location. These can only be issued if there is probable cause that indicates the person or the area needs to be searched.

A peace warrant is issued as a preventative measure. They are usually given when there is the belief that someone may commit violence against a person or destruction against property. If you receive one of these warrants, it means that someone has convinced the court that you may be a threat to their person or property.

There are other types of warrants that are not issued as frequently. A bench warrant is issued when for the arrest of a person because they did not appear for a court hearing. Surveillance warrants and warrants for tax or financial transaction retrieval can also be issued.  

What is an Outstanding Warrant?

An outstanding warrant is a warrant that was issued months or weeks ago but has not yet been fulfilled. For example, if you have an outstanding arrest warrant, it means that the judge found enough probable cause to have it issued. However, you have not yet been arrested.

There are several reasons that an arrest warrant may be outstanding. The person may not know that there is an active warrant for them. Also, the agency responsible for serving the warrant may not have processed or intended to serve it yet.

This can happen in minor cases like an arrest warrant for someone who has failed to pay numerous parking tickets. Finally, it is possible that the suspect is evading police to avoid being arrested.

What to do if you have a warrant

It is possible to check online if there is a warrant for your arrest in the Columbus, Ohio area. If you find your name on that list, it is imperative that you seek legal assistance immediately. The warrant is not going to go away if you ignore it. In fact, the longer you wait, the more repercussions you may face. These include fines, more possible jail time, and losing some rights like being able to drive.

Once you find out that you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you need to find out as many details about it as you can. When was the warrant issued? This is important because it lets you know if there are accumulating fines or if it has expired. Also, find out what the exact charges are. This is needed so both you and your attorney can plan your defense.

Your lawyer will discuss your options with you. These include how you want to turn yourself in, how you want to fight the case, and how you intend to pay any bail. Once these factors are considered, you will need to surrender yourself to law enforcement so that you can begin to work with your attorney to clear your name.