By: Mary Agramonte

One of the most common calls we
receive is from people wondering if they have a warrant out for their arrest.
There are three types of criminal warrants that will result in an arrest: an
Arrest Warrant, a Bench Warrant, and a Probation Warrant. 

Warrants in Georgia

An Arrest Warrant is issued by a
judge after a person or an officer establishes that there was probable cause
that a crime occurred. This can happen, for example, if someone calls 911 and
reports a specific individual as the perpetrator of the crime. We see this
often in Hit and Run or Domestic Violence cases, where someone calls the police
to report a crime, but the person is not on scene when the police arrive. The
police officer can still issue an arrest warrant even if they did not actually
catch the person at the scene. An arrest warrant can be issued when police
establish that it was a particular individual who committed a crime, but they
have not located them to make an arrest yet. The warrant itself is what
authorizes the arrest and detention of that person.

Bench Warrants

The other kind of warrant, which is
even more common, is a Bench Warrant. A bench warrant is issued by a Judge once
a person does not show up for a court date. Prosecutors routinely request the
issuance of bench warrants when a Judge calls the calendar and the person is
not present in court. You can learn more on Bench Warrants and missing court in
Georgia here:

Probation Warrants

warrants are similar to Arrest Warrants, however, instead of alleging a new
crime has been committed, the allegation is that there was a violation of
probation, and therefore are subject to being arrested to address the
violation. This can occur due to missed probation appointments, failed drug or
alcohol tests, or an allegation that a person broke the law while on probation.
You can read more on Probation Revocations here:

How Will I Know if I have a Warrant in Georgia?

Georgia does not have any central
way to do a warrant check, and unfortunately, most people do not find out they
have a warrant until they are pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Once an
officer runs your information, the warrant will also appear, which will result
in your arrest. The officer will then take you to their jurisdiction’s jail,
and then they will communicate that they have located you with the city,
county, or State where the warrant is active. It can take days, or weeks, for
the other jurisdiction to actually pick you up in order to bring you to their
jail to handle the warrant. Most jurisdictions will give warrant information to
attorneys who inquire in person by providing your name and date of birth. Some
court systems have online systems where you can see if your case is in bench
warrant status or not.

Georgia Lawyer for Warrants

Experienced criminal defense
attorneys can assist in dealing with active warrants. First, in many
jurisdictions in Georgia, they can actually determine whether or not you have a
warrant. Second, they can arrange a turn in, negotiate a release on citations without
arrest, or pre-negotiate a consent bond so you do not spend a lot of time in
the jail. They can protect you to get you on the soonest possible calendar to
address the warrant so you do not sit in jail awaiting a court date. You need
an advocate while you are in jail and that is the attorney’s job. The lawyers
of W. Scott Smith PC handle active warrant cases on a regular basis and are
here to protect you and your freedom. Call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION if
you believe you or someone you know has an active warrant. 404-581-0999