Arrest Warrant Guide

Alabama Arrest Warrants

Obtaining a Warrant
It is possible for a civilian to press charges and have an arrest warrant brought up on another individual. Certain stipulations of each Alabama city apply however. The individual in question must have committed a valid criminal offense that requires an arrest. The criminal offense must also have taken place in the city in which the charges are pressed.

An individual wanting to press charges will have to approach the local police departments and will need to attain a copy of the police's report. After obtaining a copy of the report, the individual will need to contact a local magistrate. He or she will then determine whether or not there is probable cause for an arrest warrant. Prior to a decision, the magistrate will request the individual pressing charges to swear under oath that the criminal offense is true. This is done both oral and in written format.

If the magistrate finds probable cause, an arrest warrant will be issued and the charges cannot be dropped in the future according to Alabama law. After the individual is arrested, the individual who pressed charges will be summoned by the court for testimony. A magistrate arrest warrant is not needed if the offender is arrested at the scene of the crime. In cases in the state of Alabama where the offender is under the age of eighteen and an arrest warrant is requested, specific youth centers should first be contacted.

Bench Warrant
A bench warrant is only slightly different from an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant is issued against an individual who has committed a crime and not in custody. A bench warrant is issued against an individual who fails to appear in court when summoned. This can either be for criminal or civil proceedings. The judge presiding over the case has the right to issue a bench warrant for an individual who is on bail and did not appear in court. If the individual was on bail, a new amount will be discussed with new conditions and another court appearance.

Finding a Warrant
It is possible to have an arrest warrant without knowledge -- rare but possible. This is normally the case of identity theft and fraud. Because of numerous possibilities several Internet websites allow individuals the ability to search for arrest warrants.

Alabama has countless search engines and databases where individuals can use their county and city for specific searches. Some of these websites offer free services, while others provide more in depth information at a price. Normally these prices range from twenty-five dollars to forty dollars for a single warrant. An individual may also have a licensed criminal defenses attorney perform an arrest warrant search. If there is a warrant, the attorney will also be able to assist in handling the case.

If an individual discovers there is a warrant for his or her arrest, it is often advised to obtain money for bail. If an arrest warrant is issued, the likelihood of an arrest is one hundred percent. And the individual will be headed to jail, regardless of previous knowledge of the warrant.