According to news reports, fugitive recovery agents recently showed up to the apartment of a St. Paul man, only to have him jump out of his 8th-story window. Fortunately, the man landed on an awning before he hit the ground, causing him serious but not fatal injuries. Why did the man jump out the window? He had multiple warrants out for his arrest for pending charges and failing to appear for previous hearings.
There are many active arrest warrants in St. Paul at any given time. Sometimes, you may have no idea that a warrant exists, while in other situations, you may constantly be avoiding any police interaction because you suspect you have a warrant. However, always know that you never have to take drastic action like jumping out of a window – instead, you should contact an experienced St. Paul criminal defense lawyer immediately who can help you address the warrant and any underlying criminal matters.
The following are examples of how a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
The 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States prohibits police officers or government authorities from engaging in unreasonable search and seizure. An arrest is considered a seizure of your person, so police may not simply arrest you whenever they want. Instead, the law requires officers to have probable cause to make an arrest. In some cases, it is not possible for officers to obtain a warrant, so they must demonstrate their probable cause after the arrest. However, if no exigent circumstances exist, police must request and obtain a valid arrest warrant before placing you under arrest.
A warrant authorizes police to arrest a specific person or people for a specific crime. To obtain a warrant, police must fill out an affidavit, which states facts and information under oath that aims to establish probable cause for the arrest of a certain individual. The officers submit the affidavit to the court, and if a court finds the facts to be sufficient, a judge can issue an arrest warrant.
A judge can also issue an arrest warrant after a prosecutor files a criminal complaint. In some cases, a criminal case begins before an arrest ever occurs. If an investigation leads a prosecutor to issue charges against someone, and the court agrees there is probable cause, the judge can issue an arrest warrant.
When you receive a summons to court or have a hearing scheduled, you are expected to appear for the hearing. If you fail to appear, the judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. For this reason, it is always crucial to show up to every court date unless a skilled criminal defense lawyer advises you otherwise. If you do not, you could be stopped by police and could be arrested right then, right there.
Whether you know for sure or suspect there possibly exists a warrant for your arrest, you should not try to simply hide from police. Instead, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in the St. Paul area. Our attorneys can confirm whether there is a warrant, have the warrant recalled whenever possible, or advise you of your other options. Furthermore, a warrant means you will likely have a criminal case – or possibly multiple charges, especially if you failed to appear in court. The good news is that we can handle those matters, as well.
In some cases, a warrant may not be valid for different versions. First, an officer may have made factual errors in the affidavit, such as a name misspelling or specifying the wrong offense. Sometimes, a suspect never sees a warrant and never has a chance to prove they are not the person specified in the warrant. In other situations, officers may provide false information to get the authority to make an arrest. Whether an officer purposefully sought an invalid warrant or not, your attorney may be able to use an invalid warrant as part of your defense.
If a warrant was not valid, your arrest was likely in violation of your 4th Amendment rights. This means that any information obtained as a result of your unlawful arrest should be suppressed from court. For example, if you were unlawfully arrested and then gave a confession to police, that confession should not be used as evidence in your case because it was unlawfully obtained.
Warrants can be a complex matter, though you should never hesitate to call the St. Paul criminal defense lawyers at Capitol City Law Group for assistance. With our help, you will no longer have to live in fear of an arrest warrant. Contact us online or call 651-419-3615 to set up your free case evaluation and learn how we can help.