I just read an online news story about a NH woman who goes to apply for a job with the police and ends up arrested because of an outstanding warrant from Maine. That must have been a shocker for her! More and more lately, we get calls for people who find out that they have a warrant for their arrest and need to turn themselves in. Or, even worse, they get pulled over for a traffic stop and end up arrested.
Warrants for your arrest can happen in a couple of ways. If you fail to show up for jury duty, a judge can issue what’s called a bench warrant. That doesn’t happen often but is possibloe. A warrant will be issued if you fail to appear for a Court date on an active criminal matter. If police suspect that you committed a crime, they can ask a judge to issue a warrant. Much of the time, people aren’t even aware that there is a warrant on them. I’m sure this woman who applied for the job at the police station had no idea there was a warrant out for her arrest!
I can only tell you that if you are supposed to show up for court and you don’t, a warrant will issue. If you throw your jury duty summons in the trash and don’t give it another thought, that could come back to you at some point and really ruin your day.
If you do find out you have a warrant for your arrest, you should call an attorney and arrange a time to turn yourself in. Your lawyer can contact the district attorney and let them know you are voluntarily turning yourself in and navigate you through the bail process and make the appropriate arguments to the Judge as to why he or she shouldn’t hold you on the warrant.