I Found Out I Have an Old Warrant. What Should I Do?Aug 28, 2017 by Criminal Defense in
Life can be full of unsettling surprises, like learning there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest. Finding out about an old warrant is disturbing, to say the least. You may not understand why it exists at all, or it may be for an incident you thought was long behind you. Whatever the case, you should address the situation as soon as possible. Contact a Fresno criminal defense attorney at Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer right away to learn more about your rights and options in this situation.
What Should I Do When I Learn I Have an Old Warrant?
If you learn there is an old warrant out there with your name on it, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. You should not make any decisions about what to do until you have learned more about this situation and obtained objective legal advice. Without a knowledgeable lawyer’s input, you may not know whether you are walking into a situation that will be relatively easy to clear up or cause you a great deal of grief.
After you hire a defense lawyer, you should find out more about the warrant, including when it was issued and what matter it relates to. Once you know where the warrant came from and why, your attorney can advise you on the next best steps. This may include going to court and asking for the warrant to be vacated or turning yourself in.
If you have to turn yourself in to be booked into jail, you and your attorney can work to have you released without having to pay bail or to have the money for bail lined up. This ensures you spend as little time in jail as possible.
Fighting the Charges
If there is a warrant for your arrest, it is because you have been charged with a crime. Even if the warrant is old, prosecutors may still want to move forward with the charges. This means the warrant is the least of your worries. The larger issue is that you must defend yourself against one or more misdemeanor or felony charges.
In some circumstances, time may be on your side. If your warrant is years old, the prosecution may not see your case as a priority. Additionally, there may be less evidence against you now than there would have been at the time the warrant was issued. For instance, the officers or witnesses involved your case may not have a clear memory of the events or investigation anymore. They may not even be available to testify.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Depending on the charges against you, the current prosecutors may be just as eager to move forward with a trial. The strongest evidence they have may also still be available, particularly if it involves photos, video, or DNA.
In some circumstances, the law affords people protection from prosecution on unreasonably old cases. A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney can help determine whether this bar works in your favor.
Let a Fresno Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You
If you suddenly learn there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, call attorney Michael McKneely as soon as possible. We understand the situation could be a simple misunderstanding. However, it could also potentially lead to a conviction and your imprisonment. This is why any type of old warrant needs to be taken seriously and handled carefully.
For help in handling an old warrant and defending against criminal charges, contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442.