A Warrant of Arrest is a court order from a magistrate ordering police to take a person into custody. Having a warrant does not mean you are guilty, it just means that the State believes there is enough evidence of an allegation of a crime being committed to justify a trial.
A Warrant of Arrest is used to secure a person so it can be assured that they will be available for a trial. Under Texas law, almost everyone who is arrested has the right to have bail set. Bail is the process where a person accused of a crime agrees to put up a monetary security to ensure that a defendant will show up for trial. When a person is arrested, they will be taken to a magistrate to be arraigned and have their bail set. If they can make bail they will be released until the trial. If they can’t make bail, they will be taken to the County Jail to await their trial.
Under Texas law, a valid arrest warrant can be served anytime or anyplace. If you are pulled over in a vehicle, the police can arrest you and impound your car. You could be sitting down to watch the big game and the police could come arrest you right before the kickoff. You could be at work in front of your boss who you’ve been trying to impress so you could ask for a raise. You could be packing your suitcase to take that dream vacation. If you are not expecting it, an arrest can be a very trying experience.
If you find yourself on this website with an outstanding arrest warrant here is what we recommend:
Turn yourself in.
Here’s a couple of tips that can make this experience go a little smoother.
- You may wish to arrange for your bail ahead of time. If you have an attorney they can advise you the best way to handle bail.
- Have your childcare, pet care or other situations worked out. The whole process from booking, to arraignment, to bail and release can take several hours on a good day. On a hectic day at the jail it can take a lot longer.
- Get a ride to the police department with someone so you won’t have to worry about your vehicle.
- Leave all your jewelry and valuables at home. All your property will be taken away from you in the jail. The only thing you will really need is some comfortable clothes and your ID. You may want to have a few phone numbers of friends you can call if necessary for them to come pick you up when you make bail.
- Come as early as possible on a weekday. This way you can be arraigned relatively quickly. If you come in the evening or on a weekend, you may have to stay in jail until next morning. You can call ahead and ask what’s the best time for this.
We know that even good people make mistakes. Most police agencies want to handle the arrest and booking process as quickly and as hassle free as possible. It’s much easier for everyone involved if you turn yourself in rather than having the police come get you.