Arrest Warrant Guide

Pennsylvania Arrest Warrants

Did you know that a simple Pennsylvania parking ticket is actually a court order? When issued that ticket you are required to pay the fine to the parking bureau which is part of the criminal courts system. Failure to pay means you are ignoring a court ordered obligation. Let it go ignored long enough and it is conceivable that a warrant can be sworn out for your arrest.

Avoid Getting an Arrest Warrant
Clearly, getting arrested for an unpaid parking ticket would be an extreme case, but the courts are well within their rights to issue such a warrant. You can contest that ticket or pay it off, but ignore it at your own peril. There are other conditions that could generate a Pennsylvania arrest warrant. Being aware of those conditions can help you avoid an embarrassing arrest.

If you are the victim of identity theft and have a summons for your arrest based on activities from the criminal who stole you identity, you won't have much leeway until you get before a judge. However, you can always research Pennsylvania arrest warrants online to see if your record is clear. If you do this research, you'll be seeing two different types of warrants: bench warrants and felony warrants. Do you know the difference between the two?

Pennsylvania Bench Arrest Warrants
A bench warrant is sworn out by a judge when they are presented with evidence that you have failed to follow a court order. This is where those parking and traffic tickets come into play. But a bench warrant can also be issued if you fail to pay your child support or alimony. Both of those are court orders as well.

The same can be said for not reporting to a parole officer, failure to take a drug test or not completing any type of education course ordered by the court. The bottom line is if the court tells you to do something, you should do it.

Pennsylvania Felony Arrests Warrants
A felony arrest warrant is often referred to as just an arrest warrant. A judge will be issuing these warrants like the bench warrants when presented with evidence. The evidence in these matters concern more serious crimes such as robbery, assault, murder, rape or arson. Evidence of any one of those crimes can also be presented to a grand jury. If they hand down an indictment, then a judge is obligated to swear out an arrest warrant immediately.

Unlike a bench warrant, with a felony warrant police are quicker to respond and initiate an arrest of the subject. One thing the two types of warrants have in common is that they don't expire. The only way to close the books on a warrant is to stand before the judge who issued the warrant and have the matter resolved.

Dealing with an Arrest Warrant
You might only discover you have a warrant for your arrest once you've been arrested. As you've no doubt have seen in countless police shows, the first call you should make should be to a lawyer. Once you have retained counsel, you'll be advised as to the best course of action for clearing up your arrest. Without a qualified lawyer working on your side, you could be spending a lot of time in jail just waiting for a trial.