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Warrants

Warrants

Learning that you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest can be a frightening and confusing experience. After you find out about the warrant it is important to take a pro-active approach to clear the warrant as quickly as possible. Different judges have different procedures for dealing with an outstanding warrant. Different types of warrants can include the arrest warrant, the bench warrant, an extradition warrant for a fugitive from justice, a warrant for violation of probation and a capias.

In some cases, an attorney can file a motion to withdraw or quash the warrant. In other cases, the attorney will tell you to turn yourself in immediately. The attorney can represent you at the first appearance before the court which occurs shortly after you surrender on the warrant.

If you have a warrant against you, it is important to understand that you should not ignore it or run from it. Warrants do not go away, and attempting to flee because of one will only make the consequences worse.

Attorney for Warrants in West Chester, Chester County, PA

The best way that you can resolve an outstanding arrest warrant is to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Skinner Law Firm helps clients throughout the criminal process in West Chester and Chester County as well as surrounding areas in Delaware County, Lancaster County, and Montgomery County.

Michael J. Skinner can help you determine whether a warrant has been issued for your arrest and the best way to resolve the warrant. He can also represent you on the underlying charge as you fight for the best possible result. Call (610) 436-1410 to discuss your case during a free and confidential consultation.


Pennsylvania Arrest Warrants Overview


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Chester County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is issued by a judge if he or she believes there is probable cause showing you are the person who allegedly committed a crime. The arrest warrant may be the result of a police investigation, witness testimony, or a grand jury indictment. When a judge signs off on this type of warrant, the police will be authorized to search for you and arrest you at your home, your place of work, or any other location at which they find you.

Generally, an arrest warrant contains the following information:

  • The defendant’s name (or if the name is not known, a physical description of the defendant that gives authorities reasonable certainty in identifying said individual)
  • The alleged crime
  • The signature of the judge issuing the warrant
  • The city or county of the court issuing the warrant
  • The date and time the warrant was issued

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Bench Warrants in Pennsylvania

A bench warrant is typically issued by a judge if he or she believes you have violated the rules of the court. Bench warrants may be issued in civil or criminal cases, and can be the result if you failed to:

  • Appear for a formal arraignment or preliminary hearings
  • Appear in court for a trial date or any other event you were subpoenaed to be present
  • Complete court-ordered classes, including anger management for domestic violence charges or drug and alcohol classes for driving under the influence (DUI) charges
  • Pay court-ordered fees

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West Chester Search Warrants

A search warrant is issued by a judge and authorizes police officers or law enforcement authorities to search a person, place, or other definite location at a specified time. Under Title 234 Pennsylvania Code Rule 205, every search warrant needs to be signed by the issuing authority and also needs to satisfy these eight requirements:

  • Specifies the date and time it was issued
  • Specifically, identifies the property to be seized
  • Names or describes with particularity the person or place to be searched
  • Directs that the search either be executed within a specified period of time, not to exceed two days from the time of issuance or only after a specified event has occurred when the warrant is issued for a prospective event
  • Directs that the warrant is served in the daytime unless otherwise authorized by the warrant, provided that, for purposes of the rules of Chapter 200, Part A, the term “daytime” shall be used to mean the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Designates by title the judicial officer to whom the warrant shall be returned
  • Certifies that the issuing authority has found probable cause based upon the facts sworn to or affirmed before the issuing authority by written affidavit(s) attached to the warrant
  • When applicable, certifies on the face of the warrant that for good cause shown the affidavit(s) is sealed pursuant to Rule 211 and state the length of time the affidavit(s) will be sealed.

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Other Warrants Issued in Chester County

There are other types of warrants in Pennsylvania that carry varying consequences. These include:

  • Civil Warrants — These types of warrants are usually issued on behalf of individuals in civil cases. A civil warrant in a case involving monetary issues is called a warrant in debt and is typically the first step in cases involving wage garnishment. When civil cases involve claims for property, then the civil summons is called a warrant in detinue.
  • Eviction Warrants — This type of warrant may be issued by a Pennsylvania court when individuals have defaulted on their mortgages or they have not paid their rent. Eviction warrants authorize police officers to forcibly remove individuals from specific property.
  • Traffic Warrants — These types of warrants, also called “scofflaw warrants,” may be issued by local governments against individuals who have failed to pay traffic tickets or parking fines. These warrants can authorize an individual’s arrest and result in having to serve time in jail.

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Skinner Law Firm – A Warrants Lawyer in Pennsylvania

If a warrant has been issued for your arrest or you were arrested because of an improperly issued warrant, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Skinner Law Firm aggressively defends clients in Chester County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and  Delaware County against criminal charges.

Michael J. Skinner is a former Assistant District Attorney of Chester County and fully understands all of the intricacies of the Pennsylvania justice system. He can review your case when you call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Michael Skinner
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