How Do I Check to See if There is a Warrant Out for My Arrest in Utah?
Police officers in Utah can make an arrest with or without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime. However, if there is a warrant out for your arrest in Utah – or for the arrest of a family member – it is critical that you find out as soon as possible. If there is an outstanding warrant out for your arrest, you will need legal assistance from an experienced Salt Lake City assault defense lawyer, like Darwin Overson. In addition to assault charges, Darwin also handles sex crimes, weapons crimes, theft, and other types of criminal charges.
What is the Difference Between Arrest Warrants, Search Warrants, and Bench Warrants?
A warrant is a document issued by a court that allows the police to undertake certain actions against a criminal suspect. In order for the warrant to be valid, it must be signed by a judge or a magistrate.
There are three types of warrants that can come into play in a criminal case:
- Arrest Warrants – Arrest warrants allow police officers to arrest people who are suspected of committing a crime. The police must have probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant. However, some arrests are conducted without getting a warrant from the court in advance. For example, if an officer observes a crime in progress, or sees a person fleeing from the scene of a crime, he or she can intervene to arrest the person then and there. In fact, police do not even necessarily need to see a crime occur. As long as an officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, he or she can make an arrest.
- Bench Warrants – A bench warrant is a type of arrest warrant that is issued “from the bench,” hence the name. A judge can issue a bench warrant if a person does not show up for court, which is called failure to appear (FTA). Failure to appear in court after being released on bail is a crime known as “bail-jumping” or “skipping bail.” Utah’s bail jumping statute, Utah Code § 76-8-312, makes this act a third degree felony or Class B misdemeanor, crimes that are respectively subject to penalties of up to five years in prison or six months in jail.
- Search Warrants – Search warrants allow police officers to conduct searches for specific objects in specific locations. For example, if the police have probable cause to believe that someone is selling methamphetamine from their residence – a drug crime called distribution of controlled substances – an officer could obtain a search warrant allowing them to enter and search the suspect’s home for methamphetamine. However, the police do not always need a search warrant to conduct a search. For example, no search warrant is necessary if the contraband is in plain sight of the officer, or if the person gives their consent to be searched.
How Do I Find Out if There is an Arrest Warrant on Me?
You should talk to a defense attorney before you do anything else. However, you can find out if there is an arrest warrant against you in Utah by:
- Using the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Utah Statewide Warrant Search function by simply entering your name.
- Calling the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification at (801) 965-4445.
- Contacting the clerk of courts in your county, whom you can find through the Utah court directory system online.
If you think there is a warrant out for your arrest, do not try to handle it on your own. It is in your best interests to seek counsel from a criminal attorney, who will evaluate the warrant to determine what charges you are facing. Different defenses are applicable to different types of charges, and an experienced attorney will know what sort of legal strategy is best suited to the allegations against you or your loved one.
Your lawyer will also help you resolve any issues related to bail. If there is an outstanding bench warrant against you, you may post bail (or, in some cases, use a bond) or come to court and ask the judge to recall the warrant. One of these strategies may be more appropriate than the other, depending on the nature of the charges against you. An attorney will be able to determine the optimal approach for your case.
Was a Family Member Arrested in Utah? Contact a Salt Lake City Defense Lawyer
If you suspect that there may be a warrant out for your arrest, or if a family member was arrested and is in custody at the Salt Lake County Jail, it’s extremely important for you to contact an attorney immediately, before the matter progresses any further. Utah defense lawyer Darwin Overson has more than 16 years of legal experience, and has worked on thousands of criminal cases. He is ready to make visits to county jails and holding centers throughout Utah, including the Wasatch County Jail, the Davis County Jail, and many other correctional facilities.
Do not wait to get legal help if you or a loved one has been arrested or is under investigation. The sooner you contact Darwin Overson for help, the sooner we can start reviewing your legal options. Call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 as soon as possible for a free and confidential legal consultation.