Arrest Warrant Guide

Maryland Arrest Warrants

In many crime thriller movies or television shows, there often comes a moment when a breathless network news announcer proclaims that a certain individual has a "warrant sworn out for his arrest." This means that an all points bulletin has gone out and capture is imminent.

Of course that is done for dramatic purposes. In reality, courts swear out warrants on a daily basis as part of their normal routine. In Maryland, there are two varieties of warrants: bench or felony. Maryland arrest warrants that are issued by the courts will need to be resolved in front of those very same courts.

Once the process of issuing a warrant has begun, it's pretty hard to "take it back." You might not even know you have a warrant against you until you are already under arrest. That's why it's important to occasionally check the court records to see where you stand.

Maryland Bench Warrants
If there is a fine, penalty or payment that has become court ordered against you then you are obligated to settle that matter. When that matter is unresolved to the court's satisfaction, an arrest warrant can be issued on your name. This would be a bench warrant.

The bench here refers to the judge issuing the warrant. Based on the information presented to a judge, you have failed to meet your court ordered obligations and you'll need to explain yourself. The only way to do that is with an arrest that will bring you in front of the court. Even if you turn yourself in, you'll still be going through the arrest process.

Maryland Felony Warrant
In the realm of warrants, a felony warrant is a far more serious issue than a bench warrant. If this type of warrant has been sworn out in your name, then you are being considered as a suspect in a criminal offense. This isn't merely a case of paying a fine or ticket. It means evidence has been presented to a judge or grand jury indicating a level of guilt against you.

If you are arrested on a felony warrant, you might be available to post bail in Maryland, but that can only happen if you are brought before a judge for arraignment. Until then, you'll be a guest of the state in their detention facility.

Options for Dealing With a Warrant
There are many current online archives available to anyone who wants to determine if there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest in the state of Maryland. If you discover a warrant in your name, but are not guilty of the alleged offense, it could be the result of an identity theft incident. Someone who has stolen your name could be committing crimes and using your identity as a cover. This just means it will be your responsibility to clear you name.

Any person who has a warrant sworn out against them can surrender themselves to the police. If you are going to take that option, then you should be doing so with the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. No one should surrender themselves without first contacting a lawyer. There is just too much at stake to undertake the resolution of a serious matter like an arrest warrant without professional help.