Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Dealing with a Warrant for your Arrest

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Criminal Law in General » Dealing with a Warrant for your Arrest

Often a person who is accused of a crime will learn (or suspect) that there is a warrant out for their arrest.   Handling that situation the right way can have immediate and longer-lasting benefits.


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When there is a warrant for a person’s arrest, law enforcement may come to the person’s home, place of work, or anywhere else that person may be found, and arrest them.  A person who is arrested on a warrant can then (generally) post some amount of bond to get out of jail as the case is proceeding.  The amount of the bond would depend upon many factors, and it is possible to seek a reduction in the bond amount (although the decision as to whether to reduce the bond is up to the judge).

If the person is in a different state than the state were the warrant was issued, such as when a person lives in Illinois but has a warrant from Iowa, then the situation becomes more complex.  Generally, warrants from one state will be honored by another state if the warrant is extraditable.  Warrants for more serious matters tend to be extraditable, while warrants from less serious matters (e.g. an unpaid speeding ticket) are normally not extraditable.  In cases where the warrant is extraditable, a person who is arrested out-of-state can end up spending more time in jail due to the delays caused by dealing with transfer from one state to another.  For that reason, those with out-of-state warrants are especially well advised to retain counsel and deal with the situation.

The best course of action when there is a warrant is to retain an attorney and have that attorney attempt to work out an agreement with the police and prosecution that avoids an arrest.  In the best cases, such an agreement will result in the arrest warrant being quashed, and the case proceeding without the person needing to post bond or be formally arrested.  Even in cases where such an agreement cannot be reached, a person who voluntarily surrenders with their attorney can often expect the judge to lower the bond amount, as a person who is cooperative is less likely to be considered a flight risk as their case is pending.


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When it comes to warrants, it is best to address the matter promptly.  Doing so maximizes the chances of avoiding or reducing the time spent in jail as a result of the warrant.  It also reduces the risk of harm that a person can suffer during the execution of a warrant, as many people have been injured over the years when the police raid their residences looking for them.


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