Steps to getting rid of a warrant: (1) find out which court that issued the warrant, (2) find out if it is a civil or criminal warrant, (3) find out if the warrant is on a felony or misdemeanor case, (4) try to get the prosecutor or judge to set aside the warrant, (5) if the warrant cannot be set aside, appear on the warrant personally.
If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, hiding or failing to deal with it is a recipe for disaster. Warrants do not expire and the longer they are pending, the more likely it is that the subject of the warrant will end up doing time in jail. The more promptly a warrant is set aside or dismissed, the higher the chance that imprisonment will not be necessary.
The first question is what court issued the warrant. Warrants are issued by courts, not police or law enforcement agencies. Once you figure out which court issued the warrant, the next question is why the warrant was issued in the first place. There are many reasons a warrant can issue for your arrest:
- a new criminal charge,
- violation of probation,
- failure to appear for a scheduled court hearing,
- failure to comply with a judgment,
- failure to comply with a subpoena, and
- contempt of court.
In virtually every case, the best thing you can do if a warrant has been issued for your arrest is to consult with a top criminal defense lawyer immediately to determine your options. An experienced lawyer will know the fastest way to get the warrant set aside, with the least amount of aggravation.
How do I get rid of a misdemeanor warrant?
If there is a new misdemeanor charge, it may be possible for the lawyer to get the warrant set aside simply by filing paperwork with the court advising them that a lawyer represents you; this is called an appearance. If the warrant was issued because you failed to comply with a court order or because of an error, an attorney might be able to work with the court’s clerk to have the issue corrected and get the warrant dismissed.
In the event of a new misdemeanor charge, there are two alternatives. You may have to appear to be arraigned on the warrant personally. So long as you go with experienced, retained counsel, you will likely be released on a personal bond (requiring no money) or a very low cash bond. The court may be willing to make the warrant one that requires an appearance or a small deposit with the court. For example, a warrant may require a personal presence or, in the alternative, a deposit of $200.00. If this were the case, the defendant could pay $200.00 to have the warrant recalled or canceled.
How do I get rid of a felony warrant?
If you’ve been charged with a felony, the only way to have a felony warrant canceled or removed is with a personal appearance. As with a misdemeanor, the best chance of getting a personal bond (one that doesn’t require the payment of money) or a bond requiring only a small deposit of money, is with an experienced and successful criminal defense attorney. There are a multitude of factors a judge or magistrate considers when setting a bond, and an excellent lawyer will know how to effectively address each factor so that the lowest possible bond is ordered. In the vast majority of felony cases, there is no legal requirement for the judge or magistrate to order a bond that requires the payment of money.
How do I get rid of a warrant for violation of probation or bond?
If you’ve been accused of violating your probation or bond on a felony or misdemeanor case, the court is almost certainly going to require you to appear in person before a warrant is canceled. In some cases, however, the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have been able to convince a court or probation officer to withdraw a warrant if there was a mistake or misunderstanding that resulted in an erroneous probation violation allegation. If you do have to appear, you are entitled to a bond while your attorney works on getting the violation dismissed or advocating for a lenient resolution. In these cases, the attorney’s first job is to get the judge to release you on a bond that is very low or doesn’t require the payment of any money. The odds of avoiding a jail or prison sentence for probation violations are increased substantially if the client can remain out on bond.
What if I live out of the state of Michigan?
If you live outside Michigan and a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you should be aware that the warrant will never expire. Extradition is the process where a person is arrested on an out of state warrant and is forcibly transported to the state where the warrant is pending. Typically, a person cannot be extradited on a misdemeanor warrant. However, there are cases where the court or Michigan Department of State can suspend the person’s driver’s license, and the suspension would apply in every state. The only way to get rid of such a suspension would be to appear on the warrant or hire a lawyer to try to settle the case without your appearance.
If a felony warrant has been issued for your arrest, it may be possible for an experienced defense lawyer to negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction in the charge to a misdemeanor with an agreement that you will enter a plea of guilty or no contest by mail. If the felony charge cannot be reduced, you will have to appear with retained counsel to get the warrant set aside.
What if I am being extradited on an out of state warrant?
If you are being extradited, you still may be able to get released from custody on a bond. Few lawyers know how to request bond on an extradition case; however, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., has successfully obtained an affordable bond for clients countless times under these circumstances.
Attorneys Who Routinely Get Warrants Set Aside
If a warrant has been issued for your arrest under any circumstances, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can help you! We routinely appear in courts throughout Michigan, and we know the best arguments to make in favor of low and personal bonds. Representing yourself at an arraignment on a warrant can result in your incarceration and irreparably harm your chances of obtaining a favorable resolution in your case. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.