When you learn you’re subject to an arrest warrant or a bench warrant in San Diego, it’s natural to be anxious and to want to avoid dealing with the situation. Unfortunately, avoiding a warrant will not make the problem go away, but instead may escalate the potential adverse consequences.
While you may experience significant financial and emotional challenges under the specter of a warrant, you can substantially reduce the negative impacts by making a voluntary appearance in court. Understandably, the prospect of surrendering to the police or appearing in court without knowing whether you will be allowed to leave may be unnerving.
As both a Southern California prosecutor and defense attorney, I’ve handled many warrant issues. I offer a free case evaluation so I can analyze your situation and help you understand what to expect, which helps reduce uncertainty about the consequences of dealing with your warrant situation.
Understanding Arrest Warrants
A substantial number of arrests occur pursuant to an arrest warrant. When an alleged criminal offense occurred outside the presence of a police officer, the police will conduct a criminal investigation to develop evidence in an attempt to substantiate the allegations. Police will typically confer with the district attorney to determine whether there’s sufficient evidence to support an arrest.
Before an arrest warrant can be issued, the officer must develop sufficient evidence to constitute probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the person to be identified in the arrest warrant committed the offense. If the DA believes there’s sufficient evidence to support an arrest, he or she will request that a judge issue a warrant for your arrest.
As your attorney, I can accompany you to court to have the warrant recalled and request that you be released on your own recognizance or that your bail be reduced so that you can remain out of police custody while your case is pending. I am available to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so I’m in a position to act quickly if you find that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.
Understanding Bench Warrants
A bench warrant is different from an arrest warrant because it does not originate from a police investigation or the district attorney’s office. Bench warrants are issued by a judge. When you fail either to appear in court for a hearing or to pay a court-imposed fine, a bench warrant is issued to authorize the police to arrest you and bring you before the court to answer for your failure to comply with the court’s orders.
Failure to appear or pay constitutes “contempt of court,” and you can be subject to significant criminal penalties, including county jail or state prison, substantial fines and driver’s license suspension.
San Diego Warrant Search
If you think there may be a warrant out for your arrest, or for that of a friend or family member, you can do a free warrant search via the Sheriff’s Department’s warrant search. Their database includes bench and arrest warrants issued by the San Diego County Superior Court and is updated four times a day.
Successfully Clearing and Resolving Warrants in San Diego
If you’re subject to a warrant in San Diego, I can help you resolve it so you can deal with the issue and move on. I’ve successfully represented thousands of people throughout Southern California, including many dealing with the fear and anxiety of an outstanding warrant. If you contact me promptly after a bench warrant has been issued, I can advise you regarding what steps to take and help you clear your warrant.