How is an arrest warrant is issued?
If the police have evidence that you committed a crime, an officer or detective can request that the court issue a warrant for your arrest. Police make this request by presenting a magisterial district judge ("magistrate") with an affidavit of probable cause, which contains the substance of the evidence against you. If the magistrate ultimately determines that the information contained in the affidavit creates probable cause to support the recommended charges, he/she will sign the affidavit and issue a warrant for you arrest.
What should I do if a warrant is issued for my arrest?
It is important that you take action immediately. With an outstanding warrant for your arrest, any police contact - even a routine traffic stop - will result in you being placed into custody and transported to the county jail. Once in custody, you will be held without bail until your preliminary arraignment, which could take hours or days. For these reasons, it is imperative that you take steps to clear the warrant as quickly as possible.
The safest way to clear a warrant is to contact a local criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will first verify (1) that you have an outstanding warrant, (2) who issued the warrant, and (3) when it was issued. Your attorney will then contact the officer who filed the charges and the court that issued the warrant to schedule a time to turn you in at the magistrate's office. Next, your attorney will accompany you to the "turn-in" and represent you during the preliminary arraignment that follows. At your preliminary arraignment, you will be advised of the charges pending against you and the magistrate will set your bond.
By hiring an attorney to assist you in turning yourself in, you maximize your chances of being released on an OR (own recognizance) bond (as opposed to a monetary bond). Under the terms of an OR bond, you need not post any form of cash bail to avoid going to jail. Rather, you are released based on your promise to appear at all future court proceedings and refrain from engaging in any illegal activity while out on bond.
Not only will hiring an attorney significantly increase your chances of avoiding the county jail, but it will also insulate you from the risk of making an incriminating statement to police at your arraignment and unwittingly strengthening the government's case against you. Police often use the preliminary arraignment as a time to question unrepresented defendants in the hope that they will elicit an incriminating statement that can be used at trial. An attorney will ensure that you invoke your right to remain silent and avoid a potentially disastrous police interrogation.
If there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, call Bishop Law immediately.
If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you can't afford to go it alone. You need an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney on your side to ensure that you are not jailed pending trial.
If you require assistance in clearing an arrest warrant, call or text Bishop Law immediately at (412) 589-9422 for a free consultation with a skilled Pittsburgh criminal lawyer. We are available 24/7.