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Criminal Defense

3 steps to take if you have an outstanding arrest warrant

By February 23, 2021November 17th, 2023No Comments

The first thing you should do if you have an outstanding arrest warrant is take a deep breath. Just because there is a warrant for your arrest doesn’t necessarily mean the police are about to break down your door.

With a confident knowledge of your rights and an experienced defense attorney by your side, this whole arrest process can go by much easier than you might imagine.

Let’s take a look at the 3 steps you want to take if you have an active warrant out for your arrest.

The two types of warrants in Oklahoma

First, it’s important to understand the two types of warrants that you may have in Oklahoma.

When a judge signs an arrest warrant, they are authorizing your arrest by law enforcement. This kind of warrant happens when you haven’t been arrested yet, but the police have enough evidence to convince the court that you should be arrested and charged.

A bench warrant, on the other hand, occurs when you’ve already been charged with a crime and failed to show up to your scheduled court date. A bench warrant can also be issued in other cases, such as civil suits.

Whichever kind of warrant you have issued, the effect is the same: police can take you into custody at any time. The difference is what happens after– if you’ve already been charged and posted bail, or if you need to go through the whole process to begin with.

What to do if there’s a warrant for your arrest

In the unfortunate event that there’s an arrest warrant out there with your name on it, don’t panic! There are a couple of steps you can take to minimize the damage.

  1. Contact a defense attorney

The very first thing you should do is get in touch with an experienced defense attorney who can help guide you through this process. They can help you figure out what kind of charges you are facing and make sure that your rights are respected every step of the way.

There’s nothing wrong or illegal about reaching out to an attorney before you’ve been arrested in the first place. It also can’t be used against you in court to show that you’re guilty– everyone has the right to legal representation, and it’s important that you get access to yours as soon as possible.

  1. Enter into custody or appear before the court

Since we don’t recommend fleeing the state or country, the only other option you have in this situation is to face the music. But if you prepare your bail money, cooperate with law enforcement, and consult with your defense attorney, you will hopefully be able to get in and out without much fuss.

Here are some of the things that could happen:

  • You could walk in and out of the booking area of the jail by paying bail immediately
  • You could be taken into custody and held for a few days until you can pay bail, or until your trial begins
  • You could arrange for a bench warrant hearing before you get arrested in the first place
  • You might be able to arrange for an arraignment hearing instead of being taken into custody at all
  1. Post bail and prepare your defense

Promptly paying your bail will allow you to get out of jail as soon as possible. If you can’t afford the bail out of pocket, you could secure the services of a bail bondsman to help you cover the cost.

Once you’ve gotten the arrest itself out of the way, you can start gathering any evidence you need and strategizing with your lawyer to mount your defense.

Hire a defense attorney in Oklahoma City

As you can see, your best bet in making sure your arrest warrant works itself out smoothly is by hiring an experienced defense attorney who will be your advocate throughout the process. Contact Jacqui Ford Law for help today.