Being arrested is a serious issue that can lead to further legal difficulties and disruption in your life. Unfortunately, arrest warrants can be issued without your knowledge for many different charges. If you are unaware of outstanding arrest warrants, you could be unexpectedly taken into custody at any location, such as at work, home, or in public. This experience can cause difficulties with your employer, social consequences, and embarrassment for you and your family. Knowing you have an outstanding warrant can help you avoid a humiliating unanticipated arrest for something as simple as a traffic violation.
If there is a warrant for your arrest, you need compassionate legal support for Texas criminal accusations who can advise you on how to interact with law enforcement to resolve your legal issues in the most favorable way.
Possessing the proper information about the charges against you can help you to respond to law enforcement in ways that may allow you to avoid further charges or penalties. Our lawyers offer excellent legal counsel based on decades of experience. Contact our criminal defense firm immediately to discuss your next steps if you believe you may have a warrant out for your arrest.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unlawful arrests, and arrest warrants are used to ensure that police follow the proper procedures for taking accused persons into custody.
An arrest warrant is an official document issued by a judge that allows law enforcement to take the named individual into custody on suspicion of a crime or for failing to follow court orders. For the judge to issue the warrant, law enforcement must present sworn testimony or an affidavit stating there is probable cause for the arrest.
Why Might a Warrant Be Issued for My Arrest?
Arrest warrants can be issued by the court for various reasons. The warrant should contain an explanation of why the police are arresting you. Common circumstances where a warrant may be issued include:
- You are suspected of committing a crime.
- The police are unable to locate you after pressing charges.
- You have violated your probation or parole.
- You failed to appear in court for a hearing.
- You are considered a flight risk.
- You did not follow a directive of the court.
- You failed to pay fines or child support.
Where Can I Find Information About Outstanding Arrest Warrants?
Texas law does not require law enforcement to inform you when they issue a warrant for your arrest, which means an arrest warrant may genuinely blindside you. However, there may be some circumstances where you suspect you could be facing legal difficulties.
Luckily, there are resources you can utilize to check whether or not you have an outstanding warrant, including:
- Searching government websites for records on your arrest. Most local sheriff’s departments have a website where you can view and/or search the list of active warrants in their jurisdiction- for instance, Montgomery County, TX has a sheriff’s website. This is usually the easiest and fastest way to determine whether you have a warrant and does not require any contact with law enforcement. However, be aware that some departments are better than others at keeping their listings up to date.
- Using a third-party service to perform a warrant search. Many private companies will conduct an online warrant search for a fee. The upside of these services is that they can quickly sift through public records nationwide and return any results they find. Just ensure that you vet the company/service first to protect your private information and payment method.
- Calling your local court clerk or visiting the courthouse in person. If you have been unable to determine if you have an arrest warrant online, there are more old-fashioned methods of checking, such as directly contacting the local court clerk (for Montgomery County, you can check mctx.org for contact info). If you are at this stage of the process, you should consider hiring an attorney to handle the search on your behalf. While you probably wouldn’t be arrested immediately, it is best to avoid situations where you could be questioned until you discuss your case with a lawyer.
What Should I Do if There Is a Warrant Out for My Arrest?
Finding that there is a warrant out for your arrest can be frightening and overwhelming. Many people don’t know how to respond or who to call when facing legal issues. One of the most important things you can do is reach out to a trusted legal representative who can advise you based on your unique situation.
One of the most important things we stress is that you should not panic or run if you discover there is a warrant out for your arrest. Fleeing only complicates matters. Your lawyer can help you weigh your options and determine the best course of action in your case. For many people, this involves turning themselves in. If you do decide to turn yourself in or are arrested before you can do so, you should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent and refrain from making statements to law enforcement officers without your lawyer present.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Assist Me?
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, no matter how serious the charges are against you, you deserve to be defended by highly trained, compassionate attorneys. Public defenders may be less expensive, but they are often overworked and do not have enough time or resources to dedicate to your case.
Contact Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law today at 713-766-3733 to schedule a free appointment and review your case’s details with one of our trusted legal counsel for criminal matters in Texas. We promise to dedicate our time, honesty, and attention to your needs and be a strong ally throughout your legal proceedings.