Not all arrests happen at the scene of an alleged crime. Sometimes, New York City police will arrest individuals for criminal acts they allegedly committed days, weeks, or even years earlier. In other circumstances, police can arrest people for ignoring or violating court orders, failing to appear in court, or failing to pay imposed fines. In these situations, a warrant will have been issued by a court allowing and directing police to take the accused into custody.
If an arrest warrant has been issued for your alleged commission of a crime or a bench warrant has been issued for your failure to comply with court orders, you have an obligation to surrender yourself to the court. Surrendering yourself at the right time, at the right place, and with the right legal representation is vastly preferable (and safer) to waiting for the police to come get you.
At Epstein & Conroy, we have extensive experience assisting individuals facing arrest pursuant to bench or arrest warrants. We regularly negotiate voluntary surrenders in order to spare our clients the embarrassment and trauma of an unexpected arrest. If law enforcement is looking to arrest you, let us protect your rights at this early stage of your case.
As noted, there are two different kinds of New York warrants that can lead to your arrest. It is important to understand the differences between the two.
A judge can issue a New York City arrest warrant when prosecutors present the judge with evidence, testimony, and the results of their investigation sufficient to establish probable cause that a crime has been committed by the individual who is the subject of the warrant. An arrest warrant can also be issued after a grand jury indicts someone for a criminal offense.
A valid arrest warrant must be signed by a judge, specify the person to be arrested, and set forth the offense allegedly committed by the subject of the warrant. With warrant in hand, the NYPD or other law enforcement officials are authorized to take you into custody without warning or notice.
While an arrest warrant is by no means an indication of guilt, it is an indication that police and prosecutors – and the issuing judge - believe they have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. When you find out an arrest warrant has been issued against you, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Judges don’t take kindly to their orders being ignored or violated, or defendants who don’t appear in court when they are expected to. A bench warrant can be issued by a New York City judge and authorize police to arrest individuals for such acts.
Bench warrants can be issued for, among other reasons:
- Failure to pay traffic tickets
- Failure to appear for a scheduled court date in a criminal case
- Failure to respond to a subpoena
- Failure to appear for jury duty
- Failure to pay child support
Call Epstein & Conroy Today for a Free Consultation
If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you need to act immediately to protect your rights and prevent further negative consequences.