New York City Arrest Warrant Lawyer
A New York arrest warrant can be issued by a state judge for the arrest of any person subject to a filed criminal complaint by the District Attorney’s Office. CPL § 120.20(1). Although it does not need to be, arrest warrants are typically issued in cases where probable cause for arrest has been determined to exist by an empaneled grand jury through a felony indictment. Where no indictment has been issued, the judge contemplating authorization of the warrant must review the state’s evidence, whether in the form of oral testimony or written affidavits, to ensure that there exists a sufficient constitutional basis – probable or reasonable cause – for your arrest. CPL § 120.20 (2).
While both a bench and an arrest warrant can result in a home arrest, the execution of an arrest warrant is likely to be much more disruptive and traumatic on witnessing loved ones. Arrest warrants may be executed at any time of day and anywhere within the state, including any in-state residence. For persons of a public persona or a recognizable name to their community, the media may be alerted to the warrant, potentially turning your arrest and subsequent booking on criminal charges into a media spectacle. If law enforcement believes you to be a flight risk or a threat to potential evidence, forcible breaking and entering into your home or business by law enforcement is not only lawful, it is likely. CPL§ 120.80 (4), (5). It needs not be said what kind of effect this may have not only on you and your reputation, but any family members present at the time of your arrest. If you are facing this situation, you should contact a New York City arrest warrant lawyer as soon as possible.
When Can a Judge Issue an Arrest Warrant?
In theory, an arrest warrant may be issued for either a misdemeanor or felony offense. In practice, however, if an arrest warrant has been issued the court has made the additional determination that a ticketed summons to appear in court on the criminal charges is insufficient to ensure your appearance at arraignment. CPL § 120.20 (3). This supplemental finding means that arrest warrants are generally only issued in the cases where there is a not an insignificant risk of flight – usually where the charge or charges files include a D felony or higher.
Can Ignoring an Arrest Warrant Lead to More Severe Criminal Sanctions?
In many cases, the risks of an arrest warrant are personal in nature rather than criminal. If you are unaware that a warrant has even been made for your arrest at all, you will not be punished for failing to turn yourself in, although doing so with guidance from a New York City lawyer could certainly save you a lot of stress and public embarrassment.
However, if you take any intentional action to evade law enforcement, especially including leaving the state after the arrest warrant is issued, you could face significantly harsher consequences once you appear in court even if you ultimately do so voluntarily. Additionally, if you are released on bail or your own recognizance after being arrested, a failure to appear for any prescribed court date could lead to you being charged with a separate offense of bail jumping.
Finding Out Whether an Arrest Warrant Has Been Made in New York City
If you suspect you may be under investigation for an alleged criminal offense or that you may already have a warrant out for your arrest, it is best to get ahead of the process if at all possible so you can avoid being arrested and detained involuntarily by police. Anyone who wants to determine whether they have an active arrest warrant in New York City can do so by contacting the New York City Criminal Court System or by getting in touch with an attorney.
Importantly, if you call the police to ask about a warrant, they will likely tell you to turn yourself in at a police station, which is almost never a good idea. Being brought into court by a police officer under any circumstances may be considered “involuntary” surrender even if you agreed to meet with the officer beforehand. Therefore, it is always better to talk to a lawyer and arrange to surrender voluntarily at the courthouse yourself.
Work with a New York City Arrest Warrant Attorney
If you have knowledge that a New York arrest or bench warrant has been or may soon be issued in yours or your loved one’s name, please get legal help and please do so quickly. Our experienced New York City arrest warrant lawyers could speak with state investigators or prosecutors to determine the likelihood of an arrest if no warrant has yet to be issued and, if one has, prepare you for surrender to law enforcement in the most dignified manner possible. Through us, the terms of the surrender may be negotiated as a quick release on a desk appearance ticket.
When that is not possible, we can begin preparing bail arguments and securing funds for a bond to allow you to go home as quickly as possible after arraignment. Whatever mistake that have been made leading up to this point, do not compound them by dealing with an open arrest warrant alone. Talk to an experienced defense attorney at our firm today.