I Have a Warrant for My Arrest in Las Vegas. What Do I Do?
If you have reason to believe that there’s a warrant out for your arrest, it’s time for immediate action. An arrest warrant can have a number of potential origins. Even something as minor as a traffic ticket that you’ve ignored can turn into a warrant. Whatever the case, you must take this seriously. An arrest warrant is never a laughing matter.
What Is an Arrest Warrant?
When a judge writes an arrest warrant, he is authorizing members of law enforcement to seek you out and take you into custody. The warrant also allows them to conduct a search of both you and your immediate environment, and they can do these things even when your activity at the time of your arrest happens to be legal in nature.
How Do I Know if I Have an Outstanding Warrant in Las Vegas?
One way of learning about a pending warrant for your arrest is to visit your local courthouse, but you’ll have to do it in person. When you do make your appearance, you’ll need to bring with you a passport, license or other form of picture identification.
If a personal appearance should prove too difficult, an online search can provide a simpler means of retrieving the data you need. If you live in the City of Las Vegas, just enter your name and Social Security number in the search box at the City of Las Vegas Warrant Search. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for information concerning outstanding warrants in Clark County overall, the Criminal Division page of the Clark County, Nevada website is the place you want to check.
How Do Judges Issue Arrest Warrants?
Nevada judges never issue arrest warrants on their own. In every case, the request must originate with either a prosecuting attorney, a member of law enforcement or a grand jury indictment. Furthermore, the person or entity making the recommendation must be able to back up the accusation with evidence showing probable cause.
What Makes an Arrest Warrant Valid?
A legitimate arrest warrant will always:
- Display the signature of the judge who issued it.
- Show the date and location of its issuance.
- Describe the offense in question.
- Contain either the defendant’s name or a clear physical description.
A Nevada search warrant must clearly instruct the police to take the defendant into custody and present him before a magistrate within no more than 72 hours. If this court appearance should fail to take place within that space of time, a good criminal defense attorney will most likely succeed in gaining the suspect’s release.
Members of law enforcement must also make the arrest itself before much time has elapsed. If they should wait too long, a criminal defense attorney can demand a dismissal of the case by arguing that the delay hindered the defendant’s right to a fair, speedy trial.
When Can the Police Arrest Me?
If the Nevada charges against you concern a gross misdemeanor or felony, the police may arrest you at any time of the day or night. For a simple misdemeanor, however, they will normally arrest you only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Of course, if you choose to surrender voluntarily, you can do so at any time.
Where Can the Police Arrest Me?
The police can arrest you wherever they choose, and they may do so with or without the actual warrant in hand. When they do appear to take you into custody, don’t try to resist. The law is empowered to use necessary force to fulfill the terms of the warrant, even if that force becomes violent.
What if I Was Only Visiting Nevada?
If the warrant against you concerns breaking Nevada’s casino marker law or committing another type of serious crime, you must not leave the state or the country before resolving your outstanding arrest warrant. If you do, the state will consider you a fugitive and can then extradite you, forcing your return to Nevada and imposing additional penalties for having fled. To remove the cloud of fugitive status, you and your criminal defense attorney will have to prove that you left Nevada entirely unaware of the warrant’s existence. However, if your crime consisted of nothing more onerous than a traffic violation, Nevada will not extradite.
Why You Need Legal Protection
If you should discover the presence of an outstanding arrest warrant against you, don’t try to resolve the situation on your own. Because this signals the start of a criminal case, fighting the charges will require the help of a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling this type of situation. You will find that attorney at Weiner Law Group. Call 702-202-0500 or fill out our contact form today for a free consultation and let our experts in the field of criminal defense demonstrate what we can do to help.