Do I Have a Warrant in Salt Lake City?
The criminal justice system can be confusing and daunting even for those who have previous experience dealing with it. For those who are facing their first time dealing with the criminal justice system, it can be especially hard to understand what is going on and what you are required to do. Certain types of warrants, such as bench warrants, can be especially tricky because you may not even know that they have been issued. The most important thing you can do to ensure that you understand the progression of your criminal case and what is required of you is to retain an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer like those at Overson Law, PLLC. Criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson has nearly two decades of criminal law experience, and he would be pleased to offer you his services to fight your criminal case. Below, our lawyers walk you through each type of warrant you might face in Salt Lake City and how they can best be dealt with.
Bench Warrants in Salt Lake City
Bench warrants are warrants for your arrest that are issued by the court, not in response to you committing a new crime, but rather because you did not meet your obligations for a current or past case against you.
Most commonly, a judge will issue a bench warrant if you are given a date to appear in court, and you fail to show up as required. Judges may also issue bench warrants for those who violate the conditions of their probation agreement or those who fail to pay required court fines and fees. However, there are other factors that may be considered when issuing a bench warrant:
- The defendant violated a custody order
- The defendant owes child support
- The defendant violated their bail agreement
This is not an exhaustive list. Our team of skilled defense attorneys can help you learn why a warrant was issued for your arrest.
Once a bench warrant has been issued against you, the police can arrest you at any time. Typically, the police do not actively enforce bench warrants by coming to your home or following you around in order to arrest you. However, this does not mean that these warrants will not come back to haunt you. They last for many years, and any time you encounter a police officer, that officer will check for outstanding warrants against you. If they find one, no matter how old, they can arrest you.
If you have been arrested for a bench warrant, you will be taken to the police station and held until you can get before a judge. An experienced Salt Lake City bench warrant lawyer like those at Overson Law, PLLC can work to get you before a judge quickly and to get the judge to release you without hurting your criminal case or bringing about more fines and fees. We understand that many times you have a reasonable excuse for missing court, such as a car accident or being given the wrong date, and we can tell the judge your side of the story.
If you suspect you might have a bench warrant out against you, the best thing you do is contact a criminal defense attorney before you get arrested. We can reach out to the local police and prosecutor and try to work out a deal where the warrant can be quashed in exchange for you appearing in court to resolve the matter.
Arrest Warrants in Salt Lake City
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by a judge giving the police permission to place an individual under arrest for a crime. Sometimes, officers make arrests on the spot if they have probable cause to believe the person they are arresting committed a crime. However, most of the time, there is an investigation into the crime. When the police believe they have enough evidence to arrest someone, they take their case before a judge who can grant or deny an arrest warrant.
Usually, the police will execute an arrest warrant right away by coming to your home or to a public place and arresting you. Thus, with these warrants, you sometimes will not know they are coming at all. Even if you have a suspicion you are being investigated; there is only so much that can be done before a formal arrest is made. As soon as a formal arrest has been made; however, you or your loved ones should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. The lawyer will need to get started immediately to get you released from custody as soon as possible after your arrest.
Search Warrants in Salt Lake City
Police apply for a search warrant when they believe that searching a particular location will yield evidence of a crime. The judge will determine whether probable cause exists for this belief and if so, the judge will grant a search warrant. Sometimes, the police may warn you ahead of time that they are coming to execute a search warrant on your property, but most of the time, they will just show up and knock, and you are required to let them in.
Search warrants are limited in the amount of scope they give the police to search your home or property. For example, if the warrant is to search for a large gun supposedly in your home, this does not give the police the right to go through your pill bottles or other places where a gun would not fit. If the warrant specifies only one room, such as a basement, can be searched, the police similarly are not permitted to exceed that geographical scope.
A skilled Salt Lake City search and seizure defense attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC will look very closely at the warrant and the application for any flaws that can be contested in the courtroom. We will also examine the narrative to see if the police exceeded the scope of the search allowed. If we believe that there are problems with the warrant or the search, we can file a motion to suppress any evidence obtained as a result of this search. This means nothing obtained as evidence in the search can be used against you in a criminal case.
To learn more about how to find any outstanding arrest or bench warrants you may have in your name, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
How to Determine if You Have an Outstanding Warrant in Utah
If you believe that you have an outstanding warrant in Utah, it would be prudent to determine whether your suspicions are true instead of waiting for the possibility of being arrested. Fortunately, there are multiple ways that a person can check to see if a Utah court has issued a bench warrant or an arrest warrant in their name.
One way to check if you have an outstanding warrant is to access the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Utah Statewide Warrant Search function. All you need to do is type your name into the search function, and you will be able to see any warrants that have been issued in your name.
Another way to check your warrant status is to call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification at 801) 965-4445. Finally, you could also check the status of any outstanding warrants by contacting the clerk of courts in the county where the warrant was issued.
If you discover that you have a warrant out for your arrest, it would be prudent to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible. The last place you want to learn about your warrant is when you are stopped for a traffic infraction or while you are in the comfort of your home.
What to Do if You Have a Warrant Out for Your Arrest
Learning that you have a warrant out for your arrest can be a stressful and frightening experience for an individual. However, you should not panic as there are steps that you can take that will help you deal with your outstanding warrant.
As mentioned, depending on the type of warrant issued, law enforcement may decide to arrest you immediately or may arrest you during a routine traffic stop. That is why it is vital to move quickly to get ahead of your warrant situation. Waiting too long to handle your warrant could result in you struggling to manage your case.
After discovering a warrant for your arrest, your first step should be to seek the aid of an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. A Utah defense attorney can apprise you of your options to handle your outstanding warrant.
One option to deal with an outstanding arrest or bench warrant is to have your defense attorney request a recall on the warrant. To have a warrant recalled, you can schedule a date with the appropriate Utah criminal court to request the warrant recall. In some cases, you may be able to make a walk-in appointment in order to handle the warrant.
It is important to note that a judge will not simply recall a warrant upon request. Instead, you must be prepared to show the judge why the warrant should be recalled. For example, if you missed your initial court date, you would have to prove to the judge that you will not shirk your future court obligations and that you are not a flight risk.
Additionally, the requirements that must be met for a warrant recall are subject to change depending on the circumstances of your case. For instance, if a warrant was issued for your arrest due to a probation violation, you will have to argue a valid reason for why you violated your probation. Our legal team can help develop an effective strategy to pursue a warrant recall. We understand that there are many benefits to a defendant being free to defend their criminal case, and we will work tirelessly to fight for your freedom.
Denied Warrant Recall
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a judge may agree to a warrant recall. For example, if a judge believes that you should not be trusted to uphold your court obligations, you may have to consider other options. When this happens, your only option may be to post bail for the amount of the warrant. You can also work with a bail bond company to help pay for your warrant. The rates of a bail bond company can vary; however, many companies will charge around 10% of the bail amount. Note, however, that if you violate the conditions of your bail, you will forfeit bail and may owe additional money to your bail bond company.
It is important to note that there is a possibility that a court could deny bail under extreme circumstances. For example, if you are considered a danger to society, the court may decide that you must await your trial while you are in jail. This could substantially impact a defendant’s ability to build their case.
Let our experienced criminal defense attorneys handle your outstanding warrant and address any other concerns you may have with your criminal case.
If You Are Concerned About Warrants, Call Our Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or a family member is concerned about being arrested on a warrant, you should consult with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. It is important to know the difference between bench warrants, arrest warrants, and search warrants so that you can prepare the best way to deal with each. At Overson Law, PLLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have dealt with all types of warrants and brought our clients’ matters to many successful resolutions. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 758-2328. You may also contact Overson Law, PLLC, online to schedule your free case evaluation today.