Criminal Defense Attorneys
Flint, Michigan

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How Do Arrest Warrants Work in Michigan?

Blocks with words on them spelling "Do You Have A Warrant?"

If you suspect a warrant has been issued, consult an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney right away.

When it comes to legal matters, it's important to have a clear understanding of how the criminal justice system works. This is especially true when it comes to arrest warrants.

In general, a Michigan arrest warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest someone suspected of committing a crime or violating court orders. In Michigan, there are three basic types of arrest warrants:

  1. Felony warrants. Felony offenses, which are serious crimes like murder, sex crimes, or burglary, typically result in the issuance of felony warrants. These warrants enable law enforcement officers to arrest the suspect anytime and anywhere.
  2. Misdemeanor warrants. Misdemeanor offenses, which are less severe than felonies but still illegal, like petty theft or simple assault, may lead to the issuance of misdemeanor warrants. These warrants may direct officers to make an arrest within a specific timeframe.
  3. Bench warrants. This type of warrant is issued when an individual fails to appear in court as required or violates the terms of their probation. Bench warrants authorize law enforcement to arrest the person and bring them before the court.

Why do I have a warrant?

It is important to note that ignorance of an arrest warrant does not mean an individual is free from its legal consequences. Here are just a few examples of situations that can lead to an arrest warrant in Michigan:

  • Investigation. If law enforcement believes they have enough evidence to suspect an individual's involvement in a crime, they may seek an arrest warrant to apprehend the person for further investigation.
  • Witness statements. Statements from witnesses, victims, or informants can provide substantial evidence that leads to the issuance of an arrest warrant.
  • Police reports. A detailed police report documenting the evidence and circumstances surrounding a crime can be instrumental in convincing a judge to issue an arrest warrant.
  • Failure to appear. A bench warrant can be issued if a person misses a court date or violates probation. Under some circumstances and with fast action, a bench warrant for a missed court date may be avoided.

Sometimes, people have warrants out for their arrest without knowing it. One way to determine if there is an active warrant is to contact the local police or the court clerk in the jurisdiction where the warrant was issued.

Alternatively, full warrant information can be obtained with the assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense law firm, such as Manley & Manley. A lawyer can conduct a thorough search to determine if there is a warrant for arrest in Michigan or elsewhere.

What happens after an arrest warrant is issued?

Every case is different. Circumstances will determine how a warrant is handled by law enforcement. But, in general, once an arrest warrant has been issued in Michigan, a series of events typically follow:

  • Execution of the warrant. Law enforcement officers may actively search for the individual named on the warrant, aiming to arrest them and bring them into custody.
  • Arrest and booking. A police officer can arrest a person with a warrant without cause for a new charge. The arrested individual is taken into custody, where they typically undergo the booking process, including providing personal information, fingerprinting, and taking their photograph. Remember: In Michigan, in most situations, the police are allowed to lie to suspects to extract information and confessions. Whatever an officer or another member of law enforcement says, use your right to remain silent. Do not answer questions. Insist on your right to speak to a lawyer.
  • Initial appearance. Usually, within 72 hours, the arrested person is brought before a judge. The judge informs them of the charges against them and sets bail conditions. If it is necessary, they may appoint counsel.

What to do if there is a warrant for your arrest in Michigan

Finding out there is a warrant for your arrest can be distressing and overwhelming. However, it is important to handle the situation quickly and strategically. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Manley & Manley for a free case evaluation. Our extensive knowledge of the law and aggressive defense strategies get results.

If you have been arrested, suspect, know, or are unsure about there being a warrant for your arrest in Michigan, take immediate action. A member of our team is available to hear from you any time, day or night. Don't talk to the cops - talk to us. Contact Manley & Manley for a free case evaluation today.

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