Long Beach Warrants Attorney
Have you just learned that you have a warrant out for your arrest? Were you or a loved one just arrested on a warrant? Discovering that you have a bench warrant or an arrest warrant out for your arrest can be a frightening and often, a very unexpected experience.
Both federal courts and state courts hold the power to issue a warrant. Law enforcement may be sent to your home or your place of employment to take you into custody. In other cases, the warrant may not be discovered until an encounter with police, such as a traffic stop.
In cases where you have just discovered that a warrant has been issued but you have not yet been taken into custody, our attorneys can help you to develop a strategy for addressing the issue. This may involve turning yourself in to address the situation; a voluntary surrender can sometimes work to your benefit, but each case is unique so it’s best to explore the case with an experienced attorney.
The elite team of Long Beach lawyers with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson will help you to develop a strategy that will maximize your chances of a favorable outcome for your case, whatever the situation may entail.
If you have a bench warrant or arrest warrant in Southern California, contact the criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case in a fully confidential consultation session. Call 562-434-8916.
What is a Warrant? Why Was My Warrant Issued?
There are two basic types of warrants: arrest warrants and bench warrants. In California, both arrest warrants and bench warrants issued by the courts and executed by law enforcement officers.
An arrest warrant is a formal document given to the police, ordering the arrest and detention of an individual. An arrest warrant typically will be issued after a Grand Jury indictment or when law enforcement officials reasonably suspect that criminal activity has occurred. The warrant can be issued based upon the testimony of a district attorney, police officer and/or the alleged victim of a crime. Arrest warrants can be issued for a number of different misdemeanor or felony crimes, including drug offenses, child abuse, theft crimes, domestic violence, sex crimes, assault, and battery.
When seeking a warrant, police must obtain a formal document signed by a judge requesting the arrest of a person.
Law enforcement officers arrive at home or workplace to make the arrest. One or more parties may be arrested simultaneously. They will remain in custody until they can appear in court before a judge to address the matter at hand.
In most situations, people are not made aware that an arrest warrant exists. The individual may only learn of the active warrant during an interaction with police, resulting in an arrest.
A bench warrant is the most common form of California warrant. It is an order for the immediate arrest of a person. Bench warrants are typically issued for failure to appear in court after you have already been charged.
Some of the most common situations that can lead to the issuance of a bench warrant include:
- Failure to appear after an indictment (criminal charges) where the court has fixed a date and place for appearance by defendant.
- Failure to appear after attorney and judge personally order defendant to appear.
- Failure to appear and show proof of enrollment, progress, or completion of community service or other alternative sentencing
- Failure to appear in court after citation by police officer.
- Failure to pay a fine.
Your attorney can help you to learn more about the reasons why the warrant was issued.
There are laws surrounding when police officers are allowed to search your property. A third type of warrant is a search warrant, which grants authorities permission to search a vehicle, home, office or other location. In general, a police officer cannot search your property without a search warrant, however there are a few exceptions. You can also benefit from contacting an attorney if authorities arrive with a search warrant for your property.
What Happens Once a California Warrant is Issued?
When a California arrest warrant or bench warrant has been issued, you are at risk of arrest at any time.
Typically, an individual is most vulnerable during the arrest process. And any statements or other evidence discovered in the course of that arrest can typically be used against you. By turning to an experienced defense lawyer for help when you learn of a warrant, you can minimize the chances of the authorities securing evidence or statements that may benefit the prosecutor.
Following a warrant arrest, individuals are generally not approved for release on bail or bond, which can result in several days in police custody if you are taken into custody over the weekend or during a holiday. For this reason, it may be beneficial to surrender to the authorities with the assistance of your attorney if you are aware that a warrant exists. This can allow you to resolve the matter in a prompt manner and this show of cooperation on your part can also be beneficial. Each case is unique, though, so it’s important to consult an attorney before taking action.
In many cases, an experienced Long Beach criminal defense attorney can arrange to have the warrant cancelled, helping you to avoid jail time, while also resolving the underlying legal issue that led to the warrant’s issuance. A top criminal defense lawyer can make a compelling case for recalling or challenging the warrant.
When you work with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson, you can benefit from your attorney’s experience in the courts. Your lawyer can prepare the documents and gather any other information that can maximize your chances of seeing a prompt resolution to your legal troubles.
A knowledgeable Long Beach criminal defense attorney may also increase your chances of convincing the court that you are suitable for release on your own recognizance (also called “OR). This is a promise to return to court without being required to post bail, which can total tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. A voluntary surrender in cases where you discover that you have a warrant can sometimes increase your chances of getting released on your own recognizance.
In cases where bail is required, your California attorney can develop and present a strong, strategic argument in favor of a reasonable bail sum. Your lawyer can also make arrangements for a bail bondsman to be present at court.
Notably, your driver’s license may be suspended by the DMV if an outstanding warrant exists. You are typically required to resolve the legal matter before your license can be reinstated.
Warrant Statutes in Long Beach, California
Under the California Penal Code, bench warrants (aka “body attachments”) can be issued for failure to appear in court (Penal Code 978.5 – 981, 978.5), for a Grand Jury indictment, for failure to follow a court order ( Penal Code 166) or failure to pay a fine (California Vehicle Code 13365 and 13365.5). Your lawyer will typically strive to recall and quash a bench warrant, thereby clearing it from the system. You and/or your attorney may need to appear in court to address this issue. Felony warrants always require the defendant to be present.
Per California Penal Code 840, “An arrest for the commission of a felony may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.” Misdemeanor-related warrant arrests cannot be made between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., unless the arrest occurs in a public place, the individual is already in custody for another lawful arrest, or “the arrest is made pursuant to a warrant which, for good cause shown, directs that it may be served at any time of the day or night.
Per California Penal Code 978.5(b), a bench warrant “may be served in any county in the same manner as a warrant of arrest.”
Some bench warrants involve contempt of court (Penal Code 166), with consequences that may include a probation violation, jail or prison time, additional fines and/or a driver’s license suspension (per Penal Code 13365 and 11365.5).
Once you arrive in court, the judge will consider your criminal history, the reason for the warrant and your degree of flight risk. Based upon this, the judge will decide to release or incarcerate you.
Notably, California bench warrant statutes require this type of warrant to be served in a “reasonable” timeframe. If this does not occur, your lawyer may be able to secure a dismissal on the grounds that your right to a speedy trial has been violated, per a precedent set in People v. Mitchell, (1972) 8 Cal.3d 164, 167, where the defendant was not brought to trial for 13 months.
If you or someone in your family has a bench warrant or arrest warrant in Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Riverside, Ventura and Long Beach, contact the criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case in a fully confidential consultation session. Our team of attorneys can answer all of your criminal law questions and give you legal advice regarding your case. Clients, contact our law firm by phone at 562-434-8916 or fill out the form on this website.