Different types of warrants in New York

Different types of warrants in New York

Many people are confused over the difference between arrest warrants and bench warrants. Some think they are the same thing. Not quite. Both can result in the police taking you into legal custody but there the similarity ends. They are issued under different conditions, and the implications are not always the same.

Arrest warrants

An arrest warrant is a document signed by a judge that authorizes the police to arrest you and take you into custody. It usually identifies the crime you are accused of and sometimes indicates the manner in which you can be arrested.

If the grand jury hears allegations against you and returns an indictment, then the court may issue an arrest warrant. In these instances, the police will go wherever they believe you can be found to arrest you. This can result in an embarrassing situation, such as you being escorted out of your home in front of your neighbors.

A warrant may also be issued for your arrest if you fail to appear for sentencing or miss a similar court obligation.

Bench warrants

Bench warrants are usually issued by the judge in open court because you missed a court date and your attorney had no excuse for your absence. These bench warrants command the police to arrest you wherever and whenever they locate you.

Anyone who tries to ‘dodge’ a warrant is rarely successful. If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic infraction, they usually run your name to search for any outstanding warrants. If they discover that you are wanted, then they have no choice but to arrest you immediately.

Some people try to avoid arrest by leaving the jurisdiction where the warrant was issued. If you are discovered, then the local authorities normally review the severity of your alleged crime to determine whether or not you will be sent back. Even if they decide not to extradite you, the warrant you tried to escape will likely appear in a background search for housing or employment.

If you have a warrant out for your arrest in New York State, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Your attorney will review your case and, if possible, file a motion to withdraw the warrant. If this is not successful, then they will represent you when you appear in court and even attempt to get your bail lowered (if bail is granted).

Although no one relishes the prospect of being arrested, it is never worth it to live your life in fear. Any minute you could be picked up by a New York law enforcement official and taken into custody and the resulting stress can be devastating. Your best bet is to work with a New York criminal defense attorney who can help you fight the arrest or bench warrant and resolve the situation in a way that lets you get on with your life as soon as possible. If you have received a warrant, then contact the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC. Ms. Rendelman has extensive experience as a prosecutor and significant experience defending clients against criminal charges. Call 212-951-1232 for a free consultation and visit www.RendelmanLaw.com to learn more about Ms. Rendelman’s firm.