Being issued a warrant can be a scary experience—especially if it comes as a surprise. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been through the Indiana court system, you might wonder how to address your warrant without sacrificing your freedom. Learn more about open warrants in Indiana and how to approach charges effectively with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Types of Indiana Warrants
The Indiana Code outlines the requirements for warrants. According to IC 35-33-2, a warrant must be in writing and have probable cause to be valid. The two most common warrants in Indiana are bench warrants and arrest warrants
Bench warrants arise when you fail to comply with a court order. For example, if you didn’t appear on your court date, violated your probation, or neglected to pay fines, the judge presiding over your case can issue a bench warrant against you. You will have to appear in court, where the judge will ultimately decide your penalties for failing to comply.
Arrest warrants are more serious than bench warrants, as these arise when you are suspected of a crime. Unlike bench warrants, arrest warrants require you to be taken into custody by police while you await further legal proceedings. This means you could be arrested and taken into custody at any moment and any place.
What Happens if You’re Found With an Open Warrant?
For misdemeanors, Indiana warrants expire after 180 days (IN Code § 35-33-2-4). However, for felony offenses or rearrests, warrants never expire. This means your whole future will be in question. Police could show up at your home—even your place of work—at any point to execute an active warrant against you.
You will also be arrested immediately if you’re stopped or pulled over for any reason, and officers discover you have a warrant out against you. This means something as minor as a broken tail light could be the catalyst for your arrest. You will then be responsible for paying your bond, the impounding fees for your towed vehicle, and additional fines for the traffic offense.
Steps to Take When Issued a Warrant in Indiana
Here are four steps you can take after being issued a bench or arrest warrant in Indiana to avoid the serious consequences of an arrest:
1. Search for Your Warrant Online
To confirm you have an open warrant in Indiana and learn more about your case, go to mycase.in.gov. This is a free way to see certain details about your active warrant, such as its presiding court, the charges against you, when the warrant was filed, and more. Being informed about your warrant is crucial to address it effectively.
2. Consult an Experienced Attorney
It is important to contact an aggressive Bloomington criminal defense attorney the second you find out about your warrant. They can help protect your reputation and best interests throughout the process and help you reduce the penalties you face or even get rid of the warrant entirely.
Many people’s first instinct is to ignore their active warrant and wait for things to blow over, but doing so will only worsen the situation. The best way to secure a desirable outcome and avoid significant penalties is to address your warrant head-on with the help of an attorney near you.
3. File a Motion to Recall the Warrant
In many cases, a warrant isn’t as hard to get rid of as you might think. Your attorney can usually file a motion with the Court requesting that your warrant be recalled. If their motion is accepted, the warrant will essentially disappear. While it will be officially up for the judge to decide whether or not to accept your attorney’s motion, having passionate legal representation can make the difference.
Factors influencing the judge’s decision include how long the warrant has been active, the nature of your charges, your prior record, and more. It is imperative to seek an attorney with insight into the Indiana court system and the skill to argue your case for a recall.
4. Turn Yourself in
Turning yourself in is likely not your top choice, but clearing a warrant becomes far more challenging the longer you wait. Again, many warrants aren’t hard to resolve. But in cases where your motion to recall your warrant is denied, you may have to surrender. You can face the warrant on your terms—avoiding the humiliation of an arrest at your workplace, the gym, or anywhere.
Need Help With a Warrant? Contact Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer Allison Chopra Today.
Living with an active warrant is burdensome. You deserve to carry on with your life, and a lawyer is your biggest advocate. With careful legal guidance from Bloomington criminal defense attorney Allison Chopra, you can mitigate the impacts of your criminal charges and preserve your freedom, future, and reputation.
Allison has experience as both a former prosecutor and an aggressive defense attorney, which enables her to effectively reason with judges and help build a holistic and thorough defense against your Indiana criminal charges.
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