How to Handle a Warrant

How to Handle a Warrant

Finding out that the police or any other form of law enforcement in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri have a warrant out for your arrest can be a scary experience. In many cases, you do not learn this until you are pulled over on a roadway or until an officer comes to your home to arrest you. Combs Waterkotte can help.

If you have a warrant, or have been recently notified of one, call our St. Louis criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.

The following are important steps you need to take after learning of a warrant filed against you, in order to protect your legal rights and to fight the charges against you:

  1. Retain a Combs Waterkotte Defense Attorney
  2. Your initial step should be to retain a knowledgeable and aggressive St. Louis criminal defense lawyer attorney immediately. A Combs Waterkotte attorney will be able to give you advice on what to do, be present at your arrest and throughout police questioning, and attend all court hearings on your behalf. Our skilled lawyers can also build a strong defense so that the charges are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.

  3. Contact a Bail Bondsperson
  4. After consulting with your lawyer, and if applicable, you may want to contact a bail bondsperson who can help you arrange to post bail if that is an option. Making arrangements with a bondsperson before you are arrested can shorten the time that you must remain in jail.

  5. Turn Yourself In
  6. Your next step is to turn yourself in and cooperate with the police during the booking process. But be sure to not say anything and let your Combs Waterkotte attorney handle things.

  7. Do Not Make Any Statements to the Police
  8. You have a constitutional right to remain silent while in police custody. Do not make any verbal or written statements to law enforcement at any time. Your Combs Waterkotte attorney should be present whenever any member of law enforcement speaks to you. You should also do the following:

    • Do not say anything to anyone in your jail cell or other inmates. These statements will be used against you.
    • Be careful of what you say when using a telephone at the police station, holding cell, or jail because your conversation is recorded.

What Are the Different Types of Warrants in St. Louis and Missouri?

The following are the types of warrants typically seen in St. Louis and elsewhere throughout Missouri:

  • Arrest warrant: An arrest warrant is issued by a judge or magistrate and must be supported by a signed and sworn affidavit showing probable cause that a specific crime has been committed, and that the person(s) named in the warrant committed said crime. The most common type of warrant.
  • Alias warrant: An alias warrant is issued when a subject fails to appear in court for a scheduled court date before any plea has been entered or fails to respond to a citation in person or by mail. Failure to appear is an added charge.
  • Bench warrant: A bench warrant is a variant of the arrest warrant. It is usually issued when a subject fails to appear for a required court appearance.
  • Capias warrant: A capias warrant is issued when a subject has a guilty judgment either through court appearance, plea, or arraignment in jail, then fails to pay a fine or complete some specified conditions within the required time period. The only way to resolve a capias warrant is to pay the fine or be released “time served” by remaining in jail until enough jail credit has been earned.
  • Civil capias warrant: A civil capias warrant is a special type of apprehension order, issued in civil court cases where the defendant repeatedly fails to comply with the judge’s orders. These are also called Mittimuses and body attachments, and are slightly different from criminal warrants. The purpose of the civil capias warrant is to get a person into court for the hearing.
  • Fugitive warrant: A warrant sent from another state when the suspect is believed to be in local jurisdiction.
  • Governor’s warrant: These warrants come directly from the governor’s office so a suspect, who has committed a crime in another state, may be arrested and transported back to that state.
  • Municipal warrant: Municipal warrants are only seen at the local, St. Louis or St. Louis County level. They are issued when defendants fail to appear for two scheduled court dates on municipal charges or when a defendant fails to comply with the payment plan agreed upon in court.
  • Search warrant: A search warrant is a little different than the others. For an officer or agent to attain a search warrant, there must be probable cause and they must attain a sworn affidavit. This kind of warrant simply means they have probable cause to search what they want in the way they want. It’s not necessarily a warrant against you, though obviously they wouldn’t attain a search warrant if there wasn’t an ongoing investigation in which they suspect you of a crime.

If you have any of the above warrants, call Combs Waterkotte right away at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online.

How Do I Check if I Have a Warrant Out For My Arrest in St. Louis or Missouri?

The Missouri state system maintains a public database that you can use to search for parties, court judgments, and charges in the public court system. The easiest way to check for warrants in St. Louis or throughout Missouri is to search the public record online or call the sheriff’s office in the county where the warrant may be issued. You can visit and input someone’s last name, then click on the tab for docket entries to see any warrants. You can also narrow your search by city, county, type of warrant, and alias information.

There are also several third-party websites that provide free warrant checks in Missouri, though you may have to pay a fee to access the public records. You can find a list of specific county websites here.

Be aware that some kinds of cases are not on public record – like domestic violence offenses and juvenile offenders – so you will need to hire an attorney to search these cases on your behalf. Most, but not all, St. Louis criminal defense lawyers have access to certain law enforcement databases that will be able to confirm whether there is an active warrant.

The Best Way To Handle a Warrant is By Reaching Out to Combs Waterkotte

The Combs Waterkotte lawyers know the ins and outs of St. Louis and Missouri law, and how to apply it to protect you and your rights when dealing with warrants. When facing the uncertainty a warrant can cause, you need the best possible defense attorney on your side.

Call a Combs Waterkotte St. Louis criminal defense attorney today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, confidential case review.