An arrest warrant isn’t something you want hanging over your head. After all, what happens when you have a warrant outstanding can be devastating. You could be sitting at home in Los Angeles when officers arrive to arrest you in front of your family, or they could show up at your job to haul you off in front of your co-workers.
If you believe that there may be a DUI warrant with your name on it, getting in touch with an experienced lawyer is a great first step. A DUI lawyer can help figure out if there is a warrant and what can be done about it. The right attorney can help you avoid unnecessary jail time, but only if you act quickly. You can reach out to one of our top DUI attorneys by calling us at (310)879-1631 or by filling out the contact form on the page.
Obtaining a Warrant
A warrant is an order issued by a judge for the arrest of an individual who is believed to be responsible for a crime that was not witnessed by a police officer. An officer can discuss the evidence of a crime he or she has with a district attorney. Then, either the officer or the district attorney, will speak with a judge who will determine if there is probable cause to believe that a certain individual is responsible for a crime.
In California, the law states that one potential necessity to obtain a warrant is that the officer must have probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed. It also specifies that a felony does not need to be proven beforehand. Even if no felony has been committed, probable cause that one might have been committed is enough for an officer to seek an arrest warrant.
Probable cause is the legal standard that evidence must meet before a judge can issue an enforceable warrant. The evidence must convince the judge that there is a “fair probability” that the individual to be arrested is responsible for the crime. If the evidence cannot convince a judge there’s a good reason to believe that the individual committed the alleged crime, no warrant should be issued.
For a judge to issue a warrant for a DUI alone, he or she would have to have probable cause to believe that the individual had been driving under the influence but was not at the scene when the officer arrived. An abandoned car by itself might not be enough to issue a DUI warrant. However, if the car had left swerving tire tracks before it crashed, and the officer found open containers of alcohol inside, that might be enough for a judge to issue a DUI warrant.
If you believe that the officer did not have enough justification to seek the arrest warrant, you may be able to raise a probable cause defense in court. A charge brought without probable cause can allow your lawyer to have evidence suppressed in any court proceedings brought against you. This can lead to a reduced criminal charge or to the case being dropped entirely.
After a Warrant Is Issued
After the warrant has been issued, officers will seek to arrest the individual named in the warrant. This generally entails seeking the individual at his or her home, but not always. Officers can seek to arrest an individual at their place of work or at any other public location where the individual might be found. An additional search warrant would be necessary to look for the individual at another person’s home.
Once the officers find the individual, he or she will be arrested and brought to jail. Shortly thereafter, the individual is to be brought before the judge who issued the arrest warrant. Typically, the individual is brought before the judge within two days, but holidays, Sundays, and other circumstances can delay the process.
If You Believe You Have an Outstanding DUI Warrant in LA, Seek Representation Now!
If you have any reason to believe that there is a warrant for your arrest outstanding, you need to act immediately. Getting arrested at home or at work can feel embarrassing. Turning yourself in is an option, but don’t expect any leniency from a judge for doing it.
Instead, if you happen to have a warrant for a DUI in the greater Los Angeles area, your best course of action is to retain a dedicated Los Angeles DUI attorney. Our lawyers have the years of experience necessary to review your unique circumstance and give you the advice you need quickly. They can help you determine if you have an outstanding warrant, what you might need to pay for bail, and what you should do to reduce the likelihood of serving any jail time.
If you believe you’d benefit from the help of one of our expert DUI lawyers, contact us by phone at (310)879-1631. You can also submit your information using the form on the side of this page. Your information will be forwarded to one of our skilled attorneys, who you can consult for free. Don’t hesitate – this could be the difference between spending a night at home and a night in jail.