What to Do If There is a Warrant for Your Arrest in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

It can be extremely frightening and totally disorienting to learn that a warrant has been issued that allows the police to place you under arrest at any time. Sometimes it might be clear to you why a warrant has been issued, but other times you might be totally confused about why the police are seeking you out. Further complicating things is the fact that the warrant could be a regular arrest warrant or a bench warrant, and your response should be different depending on which one it is. Below, our experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyers explain the difference between these two types of warrants, how you should react to each one to best mitigate the damage, and what we can do to help.

Bench Warrants for Your Arrest in Salt Lake City

A bench warrant is a type of warrant issued by a judge on their own, without an application from a police officer or anyone else. Most commonly, bench warrants are issued in response to your failure to show up in court for a required appearance. Judges can also choose to issue them if you  fall behind on child support, fail to pay fines and fees assessed by the court on time, or fail to appear as a witness when subpoenaed, as well as for a few other reasons.

Once a judge has issued a bench warrant against you, you can be arrested by the police at any time. However, unlike with normal arrest warrants, the police typically do not actively seek you out to place you under arrest for a bench warrant. Rather, the warrant is entered into the system, shared with other counties and states, and any time you interact with the police, even for a minor traffic matter, they will run a warrant check. If an outstanding warrant in your name appears, you will be placed under arrest and transferred to the proper jurisdiction to answer for it.

The most painless way to deal with a warrant is to take care of it before you end up getting arrested. You can do this by contacting an experienced bench warrant attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC. We can reach out to the prosecutor and court staff to try to work out a deal where you can turn yourself in and face the judge without being arrested. Then, we can work to get the warrant quashed by the judge with no further penalties assessed. We understand that sometimes there are legitimate reasons for you to miss a court date or payment, such as a family emergency, and we can work to tell your side of the story to the court.

Arrest Warrants in Salt Lake City

While police can arrest you on the spot if they have probable cause, such as in a situation where an officer personally witnesses you commit a crime like arson, there will usually be some sort of criminal investigation into the alleged crime before the officers apply for an arrest warrant. If the judge issues a warrant based on the application, the officers will immediately seek you out to place you under arrest. Unlike with a bench warrant, they will not wait for you to come to them.

Usually you will not have any formal warning that an arrest warrant has been issued and the police are planning to come execute it. If you do learn about a warrant, reach out to your attorney as soon as possible, as we can try to negotiate a deal for you to surrender yourself at the station instead of the police making a big public ordeal of your arrest. There can also be warning signs that a warrant is likely coming, such as if you have been repeatedly interviewed by the police or they have tried to search your home or other property. If you contact one of our lawyers as soon as these warning signs occur, we can try to find out exactly what is going on and work to mount a proactive defense on your behalf.

Next Steps after An Arrest Warrant Is Executed in Utah

After your arrest, you will be taken to the local police station to be booked. Then, you will be kept in the station’s holding cell or transferred to the local jail until your initial appearance and bail hearing, which usually occur no more than 72 hours after booking. In misdemeanor cases, you will be asked to enter an initial plea of guilty or nor guilty at the initial appearance. In felony cases, this will not occur until later, after the bail hearing and potentially a preliminary hearing.

You will want to retain an experienced bail hearing attorney quickly after your arrest, so that they can be there to represent you at this hearing, where the judge decides whether to release you, if bail should be set, or if you must remain in jail until the underlying matter is resolved. The judge will consider such factors as your prior criminal record and the severity and nature of the crime alleged. Our skilled attorneys at Overson,PLLC can work to make the most persuasive arguments for your release on little to no bail.

At this point in this case, we can try to work out a deal with the prosecutor for your charges to be downgraded or dismissed. If no deal can be reached or you simply do not wish to take a deal, we are ready to represent you at trial and fight for a not guilty verdict. Unless you are charged with an infraction, you and your attorney can choose between a jury trial or a bench trial in front of a judge.

If You Are Concerned About a Warrant, Call Our Experienced Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

Whether you are facing a bench warrant or an arrest warrant, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your rights is to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC as soon as you learn the warrant has been issued. We will get to work right away to tell your side of the story and fight to bring the matter to a successful, positive conclusion. Call our office today at (801) 758-2287 for a free consultation.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.