Vacating Bench Warrants in New York City
Warrants are recorded in New York States computer databases which informs all law enforcement that a warrant is outstanding.
If you believe that you might have a warrant out for your NY criminal defense attorney can call the NYPD’s warrant squad and see if you obtain any information about an open warrant. You will need to provide your NYSID number to them and additional pedigree information so that they can pull up your records.
To vacate the warrant, you need to appear in the Court that issued the warrant. You can appear in one of the boroughs warrant squads, your local Police precinct or a Police agency if your are outside of New York State and the Police will bring you in on the warrant. Regardless of where you go only the Court of issuance can set aside the warrant. It is always a better choice for an individual to appear in the Court Clerks office him or herself and “voluntary” surrender then to have the Police bring them in to Court.
The two types of arrest warrants:
Bench Warrant – A court order issued for a defendant’s arrest if he or she fails to appear for a court proceeding other than an arraignment. You are returned in this scenario to the particular Judges courtroom. A criminal action is already pending in this scenario.
Arrest Warrant – This is a formal document authorizing the Police to arrest you. In this scenario a law enforcement agent will present evidence that was obtained after an investigation or an arrest to a Judge and ask that a Judge issue an arrest warrant. This can happen after a sealed indictment. A sealed indictment is used when the Prosecutor does not want to alert the prospective Defendant that they are being investigated. In this case you will be brought before the Court for purpose of an arraignment on the accusatory instrument.
Additional types of warrants are:
Other Warrants – include NYS CPL Warrants not described above, other State and Federal Warrants. Executive Law Warrants (Office of Children and Family and Parole Violations) and Family Court Warrants.
Search Warrants – A court order and process directing a police officer or peace officer appointed by the state university to conduct a search of designated premises, or of a designated vehicle, or of a designated person, for the purpose of seizing designated property or kinds of property, and to deliver any property so obtained to the court which issued the warrant (refer to Section 690.05 of the New York State Criminal Procedure Law).
Warrants expire upon death of the defendant or when the defendant appears before the Judge that issued the warrant.
To vacate the warrant the defendant must go to the Central Clerks Office in the County where the case is being heard. The Defendant should have his/her full name, date of birth and either the Docket or Arrest number. The Clerk will then retrieve the file and send it up to Part that is dealing with warrants.
In any situation dealing with warrants it is imperative that the individual listed on the warrant retain counsel. Counsel can then arrange a surrender to the Court. This will be a voluntary return opposed to an involuntary return. This will increase the likelihood that no bail or minimal bail will be set. This will also protect the client from saying something to law enforcement that could incriminate them or be used against them later on. This can also assist in minimizing additional consequences such as unnecessary Order of Protection being issued.
For more information on Bench Warrants, see CPL 530.70, CPL 120.30. For more information on Arrest Warrants see CPL 120.28 & CPL 120.29
What do I do if there is a warrant out for my arrest?
If you think there is a warrant out for your arrest, you most likely are anxious and scared. An arrest warrant can be issued for a variety of offenses, such as failure to appear in court for a minor traffic offense. Below is an overview of arrest warrants and what you can do if you think you are in danger of being arrested.
The Basics Of Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant must be issued by a judge. If you fail to appear to court proceedings for any reason, a judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If an officer has reason to believe you participated in a crime, he may ask a judge to issue a warrant for your arrest. Some states allow officers to obtain an arrest warrant from a judge by telephone. Others require a written application before a warrant can be issued.
The Effects Of An Arrest Warrant
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, you can be taken into custody at any time. This could be during a routine traffic stop or officers could show up at your home or place of business and arrest you. Once you are arrested, you will go to jail until it is determined if you are able to post bail or not. Bail is set according to your prior criminal history and the severity of the crime you are charged with. You may not be allowed to post bail until you go before a judge in a first appearance hearing.
How To Determine If You Have A Warrant
In most states, you can check online to determine if you have an arrest warrant. To do this, you must log onto the sheriff’s office data base in the county where you live to perform a warrant search. There are also many third party websites that will perform a warrant search for a fee. To perform a search you must input your name, date of birth and the county in which you live. If there is an active warrant it will contain information such as the type offense you are charged with, the date of the warrant and whether the case is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.
What To Do If You Have A Warrant For Your Arrest
If you confirm that an active warrant is out for your arrest, you cannot ignore it. Failure to address the situation will only make things worse in the end, because you will be arrested sooner or later. To serve a warrant the police may not only come to your home, but the homes of family members if they cannot locate you. For this reason, it is best to seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Hiring an attorney to represent you may cost you money, but it could save you in many ways down the road. An experienced criminal defense attorney can appear with you in court to face the charges and help you obtain a reduced sentence. Learning that you are facing arrest for a crime is a stressful time, but having an experienced attorney on your side may help you obtain the best possible outcome.
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