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What Should I Do If There Is a Warrant for My Arrest?

If there is a warrant for your arrest, the first thing you need to understand is what type of warrant was issued for your arrest. There are four basic types of arrest warrants (excluding probation, parole, and extradition warrants):

  1. Felony complaint warrants: the District Attorney files a complaint, and a judge issues a warrant for arrest
  2. Bench warrants: these warrants are issued by the court after charges have been filed and the person typically fails to appear for a scheduled court date. Penal code section 853.7, also known as Failure to Appear (FTA) is a misdemeanor and is an additional charge that someone will face if they fail to appear for a court date.
  3. Misdemeanor complaint warrants: a misdemeanor complaint is filed by the district attorney, and the judge issues a warrant for arrest
  4. Before a criminal case is filed: when an arrest warrant precedes a formal complaint and authorizes a residential arrest. This type of warrant is typically based on an affidavit establishing probable cause – and is referred to as a Ramey warrant.

The next thing to do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney because if the warrant is not recalled, you will likely be arrested and held on bail. You will then run the risk of losing employment, valuable family time, or face all the other consequences of being in custody.

For most misdemeanor warrants, the attorney can appear pursuant to penal code section 977, and ask the court to recall the warrant without your presence. This has obvious advantages – for example, you will not have to rearrange your schedule to appear in court or face the possibility of going to jail.

Over the past decade, I have helped many clients avoid jail by successfully recalling warrants or helping them post bail without being arrested. If you have an outstanding warrant, contact my office today. I will provide a free, confidential consultation and provide detailed information regarding the necessary steps to recall the warrant.