Imagine you are driving with your family and you see flashing lights in the rearview mirror. As you pull over, you believe that you may only get a ticket – or even a warning – for going too fast. Instead, ten minutes later, you are sitting in the back of the police car being taken to jail in handcuffs. The officers arrested you right then and there in front of your family because they said you had a warrant out for your arrest. Suddenly, you are facing more than embarrassment, as you receive a summons to court to face criminal charges.
Unfortunately, this situation is all too real for many people who were unaware they had active warrants in the Baltimore area. Once a warrant is issued, police officers have the options of seeking you out to serve the warrant and place you under arrest. However, unless you are suspected of committing a serious crime, police will often wait until they encounter you at a traffic stop or in person and then will act upon the warrant.
Reasons for a Warrant
There are different reasons why an arrest warrant may be issued in your name in Baltimore, including the following:
- You failed to appear at a court date or failed to pay a traffic fine
- You have substantial unpaid child support
- An investigation led law enforcement to have probable cause to believe you committed a crime
If you do learn that you have a warrant, you may be tempted to try to simply avoid the police and hope it goes away. This is a mistake, as the warrant will not disappear. Instead, you should discuss the situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Baltimore right away.
In many situations, a lawyer can file a motion with the court to have the warrant recalled and a new court date set. If necessary, an attorney can help you turn yourself in and have you released so you can avoid an unexpected arrest.