Arrest Warrant Guide

New Mexico Arrest Warrants

The laws of New Mexico state that an arrest warrant directs law enforcement officers to arrest an individual and then bring him or her to the court. While at the court the individual will be questioned about charges and criminal actions.

How Arrest Warrants are Issued
All arrest warrants are issued through a magistrate or a judge, though the district attorney or a police officer may request a warrant of arrest be issued. In these cases, in order for an issuance, the district attorney or officer must present probable cause that the individual was involved in illegal actions.

If cause is insufficient the judge or magistrate may decline to issue a warrant. Probable cause can be shown through an affidavit or an indictment.

Search warrants are also issued through the court and allow the police to search a certain residence for a certain piece of evidence. If found the warrant allows the evidence to be taken into custody. Warrants are only issued, like arrest warrants, when there is probable cause that evidence will be found.

Upon searching with a warrant if another form of evidence is found in plain sight, the piece of evidence can be obtained without a warrant. This is also the case in searching motor vehicles, incident to arrest searches, exigent circumstances, and common consent. If while searching a piece of evidence is not in plain sight and not listed in the search warrant, the evidence cannot legally be taken into custody.

Bench Warrants
When law enforcement officers attempt to apprehend an individual, they are required by New Mexico law to first knock and announce their presence. This is necessary in bench warrant cases. Bench warrants are a specific form of arrest warrants that include an individual being named and arrested. Bench warrants are issued when an individual on bail is absent from his or her court date.

By law the presiding judge may issue a warrant. Bench warrants are more serious than normal arrest warrants because the individual has previously been arrested and is now evading the police. When an individual is apprehended on a bench warrant he or she will often have increased charges and have his or her bond forfeited. Bench warrants in New Mexico can also be issued if an individual does not follow an order of the court.

Most often an individual can be arrested at anytime when he or she has a warrant of arrest. When the individual is a fugitive of the state he or she cannot have a bench warrant served against him or her. After an arrest and prior to relocating to a law enforcement agency, an individual will be read the Miranda Rights as required by the Fourth Amendment to the United States' Constitution.

Internet Searching
Some individuals may have a warrant for their arrest without knowing. This possible in identity theft cases. Luckily the Internet allows common citizens to search for outstanding arrest and bench warrants. New Mexico has specific sites and web pages that allow individuals to search by city or county. Criminal defense attorneys also may allow searching options.