Arrest Warrant Guide

New York Arrest Warrants

There are probably many items in your kitchen that have an expiration date. These are placed on foods that have a specific "shelf life." Once that expiration date has expired, you're encouraged to toss out that item. One thing that doesn't have an expiration date is a New York arrest warrant.

When an arrest warrant is issued in your name, it will stay active until you have either resolved the matter on your own or you were arrested. In either case, you will need to resolve that matter in front of the judge or court system that issued the warrant.

If you live in Queens, but the warrant was sworn out in Staten Island, then Staten Island is where it has to be handled. Like the rest of the nation, New York arrest warrants fall into two distinct categories: bench warrants or felony arrest warrants. Both are serious and both will follow you no matter what state you live in.

New York Bench Arrest Warrants
Bench warrants are issued when you haven't upheld a court order. One of the most common reasons for a bench warrant is a failure to fulfill a probation order. In the cases of probation this could mean you didn't finish a court ordered class like anger management or traffic school. It could also mean you failed to show up for a court ordered drug screen test.

You might think it's not a big deal or that you actually did finish everything, but if a bench warrant has been issued then someone thinks you still owe the court something. Quite often, a bench warrant pops up when you least suspect it such as with a routine traffic stop or when you have any other business involving the court system. At that point, you will be arrested right away.

New York Felony Arrest Warrants
With a more serious crime comes a more serious warrant. When a judge is presented with evidence against you in a felony offense then they will be issuing a felony arrest warrant. This can also occur when a prosecuting attorney has gone before a grand jury to seek out an indictment against you.

Unlike a bench warrant, a felony arrest warrant will usually be followed by an immediate order for the police to go out and arrest the suspect. A felony arrest warrant also travels across state lines. Once issued, an arrest warrant can only be resolved before the court. The New York court system has every right to request extradition if you have been arrested in another state or even another country.

Options for Dealing with New York Arrest Warrants
The best option for dealing with a New York arrest warrant is to retain a lawyer and go before the court immediately. Depending on the severity of the charge, you could have the matter resolved with one session before the court as long as your lawyer knows what they are doing.

You can research the New York criminal record system to find out if there is an outstanding warrant in your name. If you discover a warrant in your name then that is when you should contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Once the matter is resolved, that same lawyer can also advise you on how to expunge the arrest record so that it won't show up on any future background check.