So You Think You Have a Warrant? What Should You Do?

what should you do if you have a warrant
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Many residents of Arizona can relate with that feeling of driving down the freeway, looking out your rearview mirror only to see a police car behind you. Your heartbeat starts to speed up. You wonder “Have I not paid a speeding ticket?” or “Did I miss a court date that I was supposed to attend?” You hope that the police car in your lane has something more important to do then pull you over. These are the fears that are attached to someone that might have a warrant.

Having a warrant won’t go away until you resolve this outstanding issue and unfortunately it can catch up with you at the most unexpected times. You could be arrested during a simple speeding violation because your identification shows in their database with an outstanding warrant.

Jaburg Wilk

The state of Arizona the two most common types of warrants are:

Bench Warrants: which are issued when a defendant does not appear for their scheduled court hearing. Because of this “Failure to Appear”, the judicial officer authorizes law enforcement to make an arrest of the individual listed on the warrant. This also includes a bench warrant issued for a probation violation.

Arrest Warrants: which are issued to law enforcement when they have reasonable belief to suspect that a person has committed a crime.

Here are some of the most common questions regarding a warrant and how to resolve it.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF I HAVE A WARRANT IN MARICOPA COUNTY?

In the past you would be able to contact a bail bond company and ask to assist in locating your warrant. Arizona has since changed their policy and now requires you to do the research and verify if you have a warrant. According to The Judicial Branch of Arizona’s website for Maricopa, you can complete your own research by going to azcourts. gov or call one of the numbers listed below:

  • Criminal Court Administration Information Desk – 602-506-8575
  • Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) – 602-223-2233

HOW LONG IS A WARRANT IN EFFECT?

An arrest warrant stays in effect indefinitely until the individual is arrested. The warrant can only be resolved, “quashed or cancelled”, by the issuing court.

IF I AM LIVING IN ARIZONA AND FIND OUT I HAVE A WARRANT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

It is always recommended that you seek legal representation as soon as you find out that you have a warrant. Your attorney will be able to confirm the facts of the warrant and may be able to file a motion to quash or resolve the warrant. If you do not have an attorney, you can contact the court that issued the warrant for additional information.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I NO LONGER LIVE IN ARIZONA BUT HAVE AN OUTSTANDING WARRANT IN MARICOPA COUNTY?

Regardless of where you live, it is still recommended that you seek legal. Know that a hearing on your warrant can only be set with the court that issued the warrant.

If your warrant was issued due to a Maricopa County Probation violation, contact 602-372-0427 for additional information.

If your warrant was issued by a Superior Court Judge in Maricopa County, you can contact 602-506-8575 for the phone number of the judicial officer’s division that issued the warrant.

OKAY, I FOUND OUT I HAVE A WARRANT, HOW CAN A BAIL BOND COMPANY HELP?

As mentioned before, the laws in Arizona have changed and they require anyone who has a warrant to self-surrender at court. This means that if the judge wishes to place you in custody and require a bond for your release, they can. You will then get booked in the jail and placed in their system and have to go through the process of trying to get bond assistance.

By contacting a bail bond provider in Arizona prior to self-surrendering or your court date, you can eliminate any unnecessary time in jail and get released as quickly as possible. They can discuss all of the requirements for posting your bond and make all arrangements so that your bond can be posted immediately upon your booking.

With this information hopefully you can drive down the road and avoid that uncomfortable feeling of “What If?” the next time a police car happens to be right behind you.

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