Arrest Warrant Guide

Washington Arrest Warrants

Ever since we were enrolled in school, we've had some sort of file that has followed us throughout our lives. Our school file contained our grade transcripts and any form of disciplinary action. These records were carried over to our college years or first jobs. Once we entered the workforce, we began to build an employment history which would follow us from job to job. You can add to those personal files all kinds of credit and banking history as well as payments to utility companies.

There is another file which nobody wants following them and that is a criminal record. These are generated anytime we have any business that has to do with the law. This can include minor incidents like parking tickets or running a red light up to more serious problems like a DUI arrest. When these court related matters are ignored or perceived to be extreme then a warrant might be issued for your arrest.

Washington arrest warrants are like the rest of the country. These will be either bench warrants or felony warrants.

Washington Bench Arrest Warrants
Bench arrests warrants are sworn out when you haven't fulfilled what the "bench" has asked you to do. In this case, the bench is the judge or court. Some of those unfulfilled obligations could be unpaid child support, alimony or tickets. Yes, you could conceivably be arrested in Washington for ignoring your parking tickets. In some cases it can be as little as five unpaid tickets before a bench arrest warrant is issued.

Once a bench warrant is sworn out, your name will go into an active database that is available for any law enforcement official to check. If you happen to be standing by one of those officials and they find your name in that database, you'll be arrested right then and there. There is no expiration date for a bench warrant and the only way to resolve the matter is by a hearing in front of the same judge who swore out the warrant.

Washington Felony Arrest Warrants
Just like the bench arrest warrants, the felony arrest warrants have no expiration date. However, as the title implies, felony arrest warrants pertain to more serious felony crimes. With these types of warrants are judge is presented with evidence from a detective or a grand jury indictment. When the judge is satisfied with these presentations, they will then issue the felony arrest warrant. The names go into the same database, but there is more urgency to arrest the person with a felony warrant then there is to arrest someone with a bench warrant.

How to Deal with a Warrant
At any time, you can research through the Washington arrest warrant databases to see if there has been a warrant issued on your name. You may think that because you've had no dealings with the court that you might be clear. Yet, with all those personal files floating around the internet the chances of identity theft have increased. If this happens, a criminal could be carrying out crimes using your name. It would be that name that a warrant is sworn out to. Once again, your only option will be to resolve the matter in front of a judge.

The best advice would be to handle any warrant issue with the help of an experienced lawyer.