Philadelphia Warrant Lawyer
Have You Become Aware of a Warrant in or Around Philadelphia? We’ll Explain Your Rights and Options
If you find yourself with a warrant issued against your name, the situation demands immediate and informed action. The law is clear: a warrant authorizes law enforcement to take specific actions against you, including your immediate arrest.
But how should you respond to an arrest warrant in Philadelphia? Here, our experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys offer guidance on navigating warrants, getting warrants quashed, and defending yourself.
At Fienman Defense, we routinely help people after they’ve become aware of warrants deal with the matter quickly and effectively. Call (215) 839-9529 today for a free and confidential case evaluation. We’ll discuss your warrant and what to do next.
Bench & Arrest Warrants in Philadelphia
In Pennsylvania, warrants fall into two primary categories, each with its own protocols and consequences.
What is a Bench Warrant?
Bench warrants are typically issued when an individual fails to comply with a court’s directive, such as appearing for a scheduled hearing. Whether you’re a defendant, a witness, or have otherwise been ordered by the court to present yourself, disobeying this order can lead to a bench warrant.
If a bench warrant has been filed against you, any police officer you encounter must take you into custody. There is no room for discretion; the arresting officer must act following the bench warrant.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is a step further, signifying that you’re suspected of a criminal offense. Here, a judge has given the police the green light to detain you. This isn’t a passive notice — expect the police to actively seek you out at home, work, or elsewhere.
Regardless of innocence, evading an arrest warrant compounds the issue and can severely prejudice your case.
Common Warrants in Philadelphia
- Failure to Appear: Not showing up for a scheduled court date.
- Probation Violation: Breaching the terms of probation.
- Unpaid Fines or Tickets: Ignoring court-ordered fines or unpaid tickets.
- Contempt of Court: Actions that disrespect or disregard the court’s authority.
- Drug Offenses: Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of illegal substances.
- Theft: Ranging from shoplifting to grand theft.
- Assault: Including simple assault or aggravated assault charges.
- DUI/DWI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Domestic Violence: Charges related to domestic disputes that may involve violence.
Arrest Warrants vs. Search Warrants
A search warrant authorizes law enforcement to look for evidence at a certain location. It is specific about what they can seize, whereas an arrest warrant allows the police to detain someone believed to have committed a crime.
While both require probable cause and must be issued by a judge, search warrants are limited to searches and do not permit arrests unless additional evidence justifies it. In contrast, arrest warrants target persons and come with the power to take the named individual into custody at any time.
The Penalties & Consequences of a Warrant
The penalties and consequences of having an arrest warrant filed against you can be severe and impact various aspects of your life.
- Immediate Arrest – The most direct consequence of an arrest warrant is that law enforcement can take you into custody at any time. For instance, even if you’re stopped for rolling a stop sign, you’ll be taken into custody if the police discover an active warrant in your name.
- Jail Time for Warrants – Depending on the underlying charges related to your warrant, you could face jail time if convicted. But even before a conviction, you may be detained until you can appear before a judge, which could take days or weeks.
- Increased Scrutiny – With an active arrest warrant, you’re likely to face increased scrutiny by law enforcement, which can lead to additional legal issues.
- Bail Issues – If you’re arrested on a warrant in Philadelphia or the surrounding suburban communities like Delaware County, Bucks County, Montgomery County, or Chester County, you may have to post bail to secure your release. The bail amount could be substantial, depending on the severity of the offense.
An arrest warrant can also have long-term personal consequences. You may have fewer employment opportunities due to background checks, tarnishing your reputation, and imposing travel restrictions.
Being picked up on a warrant can also lead to the suspension of your driver’s license and negatively impact your finances. Further, evading an arrest for an active warrant can worsen the situation. This can lead to harsher sentences from the court and less leeway to negotiate for a positive resolution.
Dealing with Warrants in the Philadelphia Region
You must take it seriously if you’re picked up in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Chestnut Hill, Haverford, or another suburb for a warrant. Here’s what you need to do:
- Stay Calm: Panic can lead to poor decisions. Solutions are available; even a warrant for a violent felony or sexual offense can be improved.
- Get Informed: Many people are shocked to learn a warrant was issued. Understanding the nature of your warrant is vital.
- Seek Legal Counsel: Consult with a criminal defense attorney with experience in warrants and a record of resolving and dismissing them.
- BENCH WARRANT FOR FAILED ARD ENDS WITH CLOSED CASE
- MAN RELEASED FROM JAIL FOR YEARS OLD WARRANT
- OLD DUI WARRANT QUICKLY DISMISSED
A Warrants Attorney Can Help You
Navigating an active warrant in Philadelphia can be daunting, but a skilled defense attorney is your ally. Here’s how an attorney can provide support as you work to resolve your warrant in the best way possible:
- Honest Assessment: A warrant defense attorney will analyze your warrant’s details to understand the nature of the allegations and the evidence at hand, so you know what to expect. For instance, if you’re facing an arrest warrant for felony theft, they’ll examine the strength of the prosecution’s case.
- Aggressive Representation: Your lawyer should act as your voice and shield. This means they’ll speak on your behalf during interrogations, ensuring you don’t self-incriminate. Your attorney can communicate with prosecutors and judges to reschedule court appearances or move to quash a bench warrant, thus preventing a disruptive arrest.
- Guidance for Surrendering: If you have an outstanding warrant, a managed surrender can be beneficial and is best handled by a well-respected attorney. They can arrange a discreet surrender at an optimal time, negotiate bail conditions, and demonstrate your responsible approach to the court. This proactive measure often leads to a more favorable impression in court and a smoother legal proceeding.
- A Strong Defense: Should your case advance to court, your attorney will craft a defense strategy tailored to your situation, drawing on precedents and legal statutes aimed at improving your position, reducing the harm of having an active warrant against you, and securing the most favorable outcome possible.
More on Warrants in Philadelphia
- DON’T LIVE WITH AN OLD WARRANT OVER YOUR HEAD
- NEW PROTECTIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA AGAINST WARRANTLESS VEHICLE SEARCHES
- PHILLY POLICE SAY NO MORE ‘NO-KNOCK’ WARRANTS & OTHER REFORMS
Contact a Warrant Attorney at Fienman Defense
If you or a loved one have been arrested or recently become aware of an outstanding warrant in the Philadelphia area, it’s critical to act fast. The first step is to consult an experienced and compassionate defense lawyer who can evaluate the situation and guide you through getting released and dealing with the warrant once and for all.
Don’t let an active warrant dictate your future. At Fienman Defense, we know what it takes to avoid the harsh penalties of being arrested for a warrant and how to resolve things favorably. Call (215) 839-9529 or contact us online for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Attorney Michael H. Fienman represents clients in criminal and traffic matters throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. Fienman has completed the same DWI detection training as most law enforcement officers, and he holds a certificate in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As an experienced trial attorney, he understands your rights and is a zealous advocate with a reputation for relentlessly defending clients in state court, federal court, and administrative agencies.
Attorney Fienman is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.