Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Blog: I Have an Arrest Warrant in Indiana What Do I Do?
If you are facing the prospect of an arrest warrant issued for you or you already know that you have an arrest warrant issued for you in Indiana, it can be a very scary and stressful situation. We have all seen movies or TV shows where the police officers come breaking down doors to go after someone for an arrest warrant. The Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower take a closer look.
To start we will talk about where the arrest warrants most often originate from. First, is the warrant that is issued due to a judge finding probable cause that you have committed a crime. In this situation, law enforcement has submitted a police report to the prosecutor alleging that you have committed a crime. The prosecutor then reviews the police report and determines what charges to file. When the prosecutor prepares the charges, the prosecutor submits the charges along with a probable cause affidavit. The prosecutor can then ask that the court issue a summons ordering the person to appear in court(this is more likely to occur in misdemeanor cases) or request that the court issue an arrest warrant. The court will then review the paperwork and make sure that there is probable cause for the charges. If the court finds that there is probable cause(in most instances this is a fairly low burden and regularly found to exist), then the court will issue the arrest warrant.
The next most common cause for an arrest warrant is when a defendant has failed to appear in a criminal case. In many of the hearings on pending criminal cases, the defendant is required to be present. If the defendant fails to appear, then the court will issue what is commonly called a bench warrant, causing a warrant for the arrest of the defendant to be activated. The final most common source for an arrest warrant is when a defendant violates a term of probation. In this instance, the probation officer prepares an allegation of violation of probation and forwards it to the court. In most instances the court will review it and promptly issue an arrest warrant.
Now that the warrant is issued, what happens next? This depends on the jurisdiction. For warrants on more minor criminal offenses in Indianapolis, many times, the police are not actively attempting to effectuate an arrest on the arrest warrant. Instead, the police will wait to execute the warrant when they have an encounter with the suspect, such as during a traffic stop. On more serious cases Indianapolis has a warrant team that will pursue the arrest of the subject of the arrest warrant, this is sometimes even done with the cooperation of the U.S. Marshalls office.
In other jurisdictions outside of Indianapolis, it is a common practice for the investigating department to serve and arrest under their own arrest warrants. For example, in Hamilton County if Fishers PD investigated the crime then Fishers PD will likely try to find the suspect and effectuate the arrest warrant. If Carmel PD handled the investigation, then, likewise they are likely to make the arrest on the arrest warrant. In many of the jurisdictions outside of Indianapolis, they will actively attempt to serve all warrants regardless of the seriousness of the offense.
So, if you know you have a warrant and haven’t been arrested yet is there anything proactive you can do? There most certainly is. In most jurisdictions you will want to contact a lawyer and ask about your specific warrant, then you will want to coordinate with a bondsman or find out what your bond is and get adequate cash to post your bond. Next, report to the local jail of the county where the warrant is pending and surrender. If you are able to post your bond or bond out with a bondsman, this process can take as little as 30 minutes. In Indianapolis you have some additional options depending on the nature of the offense and the Court where your case is pending. In some of the courts in Indianapolis, you can report directly to the court with your attorney, turn yourself in to the warrant office and be taken up to the court that day. Then, your attorney can ask the court to release you from the bond or ask the court to reduce your bond. In those instances, in Indianapolis, you may be able to address your bond without being taken into formal custody. In other cases, especially more serious offenses, Indianapolis will make you be taken into custody and processed through the Arrestee Processing Center (also known as the “APC”).
Regardless of what your warrant situation is, if you find out you have an active warrant you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately so they can help you put together a game plan to deal with your warrant. In most instances, it will be better to surrender, then to be found and arrested.
Banks & Brower, LLC if a law firm with its main office in Indianapolis and serving clients throughout Indiana. If you find yourself with a warrant for your arrest, contact the Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower at 317-870-0019 today. We answer our phones 24 hours a day and stand ready to assist you.