A court of law issues a warrant when police officers request one and present evidence indicating probable cause or a reasonable likelihood that a crime was committed.
Are Warrants Required for Police to Arrest Someone?
Not in every situation. If someone commits a crime in the presence of police and they witness it, they have the right to arrest that person without a warrant. Similarly, if police have reason to believe someone is in danger of being harmed, they have the right to arrest the person who may be causing the harm without a warrant. If police suspect someone of committing a felony crime, they can arrest that person in public without a warrant.
What Happens Once a Warrant Is Issued?
Once the police have an approved warrant from the court, they can arrest the person named in the warrant at any time or place. That means someone could be at work or home with family, and the police can arrive and arrest them on the spot. Then the police will take the arrestee into custody and begin questioning them about the crime. Note that people have the right to have an attorney present when questioned by police, and they have the right not to answer questions until an attorney arrives. That’s why it’s strongly recommended to bring a lawyer in as soon as possible.
Usually, the person being arrested will not be informed ahead of time. It’s not uncommon for someone to find out there’s a warrant for them and decide to leave and go into hiding, or at least hide or destroy evidence before the police arrive. This can make the case worse. Instead of fleeing or hiding, it’s better to bring a criminal defense attorney to assist and help the person understand their rights.
Let Us Advise You
If you or someone you know has been arrested with or without a warrant, call us at 253-383-3328 to have experienced criminal defense attorneys represent your best interests.