Arrest Warrants in San Diego County
I have an outstanding warrant for my arrest!
There are many different reasons why warrants are issued. The most common
is simply the failure of the person to appear at a scheduled court hearing.
On most misdemeanors, the defendant is allowed to appear through counsel,
but on felonies the defendant is required to appear in person, even if
he or she has counsel. When a person does not appear for a scheduled court
appearance where one's presence is required, the court is required
to forfeit the bail bond and issue a "bench" warrant for the
person's arrest, with a new bail amount set on the warrant.
Under some circumstances where the defendant is unexpectedly prevented
from being in court for some legitimate reason, and appears through counsel
who is in contact with the defendant and who is aware of defendant's
situation, arrangements can be made to "hold" the warrant (and
not forfeit the bail) to some future date when the defendant must again
appear. In these situations, the warrant is not transmitted to law enforcement,
thus avoiding the defendant's arrest on the warrant.
Warrants are also issued for probation violations and to authorize the
defendant's arrest on a new case, although law enforcement can make
an arrest on a new case
without an arrest warrant if they have probable cause a felony has been committed
by the person arrested, and the arrest is made in a public place.
One important thing to keep in mind – it is always preferable for
a defendant to surrender on an outstanding warrant rather than have law
enforcement make an arrest, as the judge will look more favorably on one
who surrenders, which may result in a reduced bail or possibly the judge
can be persuaded to release the person pending a future date. Obviously,
it is always better to have an attorney with you when you surrender on
a warrant, but remember that once you hire an attorney to arrange a surrender
on your warrant, the attorney has a professional and ethical obligation
to surrender you at the earliest opportunity.