Experience with San Diego Warrants
Domenic J. Lombardo, a San Diego criminal defense lawyer, has extensive experience in dealing with San Diego warrants, both San Diego arrest and bench warrants. If you are facing a San Diego warrant of any kind, you can contact Mr. Lombardo any time, every day of the year.
While details explaining San Diego arrest warrants are below, for a quick summary on warrants, read 10 Things to Know about San Diego Arrest Warrants.
Arrest Warrants and Bench Warrants, Defined
In general, arrest warrants are issued by a Court where there is probable cause to believe a crime occurred, and bench warrants are issued where a person failed to follow a court order, such as to appear in court. All warrants command the arresting officer to bring the accused before the court without unnecessary delay. Arrest warrants and bench warrants have essentially the same effect. This article therefore refers to all types of warrants as arrest warrants.
A San Diego Bench Warrant is an order from a judge requiring a person to appear in court. The word “bench” is simply another word for judge. The phrase “bench warrant” and “arrest warrant” mean essentially the same thing. A warrant requires law enforcement to arrest the person, bring them to jail, and then bring them to appear before the judge at a fixed date and time.
Law enforcement may serve California arrest warrants for the commission of a felony offense at any time of day or night. Felony California warrants are good even if the arrested person is found out-of-state. California prosecutors frequently obtain the extradition of defendants arrested in other states. Arrest warrants for misdemeanor and traffic offenses can only be made between 6:00A.M. and 10:00P.M., except where the person is already in custody, in a public place, or the court finds good cause to authorize nighttime service.
Most warrants allow individuals subject to warrant to post bail on the warrant to ensure their appearance in court. The bail, however, may not be posted until the person is arrested or until the person is surrendered to court for the initial appearance on the warrant. This means that a felony offender would have to be arrested or personally present in court before the judge will allow bail to be posted.
The judge is free to adjust the amount of bail at the first appearance. Bench warrants in misdemeanor cases can usually be handled by an attorney without the defendant having to appear in court and without the defendant having to post bail.
Some types of warrants do not allow for the posting of bail. A judge would have discretion to set bail allowing for the person to be released upon the posting of bail, but the judge would not set bail until that person is brought to court.
There is a different procedure in place for each division of the San Diego Superior Court for attorneys handling bench warrants issued by San Diego County judges. In other words, each division handles the clearing of warrants differently. An experienced San Diego criminal lawyer can explain to you specifically how your warrant may be cleared. In all cases, of course, time is of the essence and clearing a warrant because a person subject to a warrant would obviously prefer not to be arrested on a warrant. The judges also favor criminal defendants who clear warrants against those that are brought to court in custody.
Many San Diego arrest warrants can be cleared the same day that you contact our office. Call us for advice on any San Diego county warrants.
Check for San Diego Warrants
Do you think that you have a San Diego warrant out for your arrest? The San Diego County Sheriff allows for an on-line search for arrest warrants issued by the San Diego Superior Court. To check for warrants navigate to the San Diego County warrants database.
You should be aware that not all types of arrest warrants will show in the on-line search; federal warrants, recently issued warrants, and traffic infraction warrants are not listed. You should also be aware that if law enforcement has probable cause to believe that a felony offense has been committed, you are subject to arrest in public without a warrant. If you believe that you may have a warrant out for your arrest, or that you are possibly subject to arrest, do not hesitate to call us.
How Warrants Work in San Diego
Sheriffs in California have all the power of other law enforcement persons, such as San Diego police officers. Although the Sheriff is not primarily responsible for investigating criminal activity in the incorporated cities within San Diego County, such as the City of San Diego, the Sheriff has primary responsibility for clearing warrants. The Sheriff has dedicated resources and personnel specifically for the purpose of clearing warrants. Sheriff Deputies rotate in and out of “the field” on warrant detail. Sheriff Deputies on warrant detail work closely with other law enforcement agencies, such as the San Diego police department. The Sheriff is responsible for security at each of the courthouses and the staffing of each San Diego Superior Court room with a bailiff. The courtroom deputies also rotate into the field to contact persons subject to arrest warrants. Indeed, the same courtroom deputy present when the warrant is issued may try to execute the warrant, the very same day. Clearing the warrant and executing the warrant means essentially the same thing – placing the person subject to the warrant under arrest.
The San Diego County Sheriff maintains a website that allows a search for warrant information. See the link above. A warrant check can be done by inputting the name and date of birth of the person thought to be subject to a warrant. The warrant will typically indicate a case number, the date that the warrant was issued, and the bail amount (if bail may be posted). An experienced San Diego criminal lawyer will be familiar with the bail schedule and how case numbers are assigned in each of the San Diego courts. This information will allow the lawyer to infer whether an appearance was ever made on the case or whether the warrant relates to a probation violation. The attorney will be able to offer predictions as to whether or not the bail can be adjusted downward at the initial appearance on the warrant.
Clearing a San Diego Arrest Warrant
Arrest warrants should not be ignored. There are three types of California Superior Court arrest warrants: warrants alleging the commission of a felony offense, the commission of a misdemeanor offense, and infraction warrants. There are very specific and serious problems that can arise for any type of arrest warrant. Arrest warrants can stand in the way of obtaining employment, federal or state benefits, such as licensing for a particular type of job, driving privileges, and safe travel without fear of arrest. In some case, warrants can result in law enforcement forcibly entering your home, arresting you at your place or employment, and can obviously result in the loss of freedom and serious financial problems.
We are experts in dealing with the issues associated with each type of warrant. In many cases, we can handle these problems for you without you ever having to appear in court. In San Diego, each branch of the San Diego Superior Court has a particular process involved for clearing an arrest warrant. We have cleared all variations of San Diego county warrants in every court in San Diego County. We have appeared in court all over the State of California. Call us for an explanation of the process involved in clearing your San Diego arrest warrants.
Guide for Clearing Arrest and Bench Warrants
Each Superior Court Division has its own procedures for clearing warrants. Read this guide to understand the procedure for clearing a warrant.
Old warrants involve special consideration because of State Statutory and Constitutional protections against violation of the right to a speedy trial. In these cases the loss of evidence is especially important where the evidence may have benefited the defense. The delay in arresting the person can therefore result in an unfair advantage for the prosecution resulting in the case being dismissed. On the other hand, old warrants may also involve cases with lost evidence or witnesses that have died or disappeared, giving the defense an advantage. Since the prosecution has to prove its case, the loss of evidence may result in dismissal of an old case or a favorable verdict for the defense.
Other types of old warrants, such as those alleging a violation of probation, involve consideration of the seriousness and nature of the alleged violation balanced against the demonstrated rehabilitation since the warrant was issued. The benefits from clearing an old warrant can be surprising. The court has discretion, in some cases, to recall the warrant, reinstate the person on probation, terminate probation, reduce the matter to a misdemeanor, and then expunge the conviction! At the same time, the court may have discretion to impose a long prison sentence for failing to comply with probation. In any case, do not wait any longer to clear an old warrant, as the courts look favorably on an individual who voluntarily walks in to clear a warrant as opposed to those who involuntarily arrive in custody. Call us for honest advice regarding your situation.
Statute of Limitations and Speedy Trial Rights
Many people mistakenly believe that the statute of limitations begins to run even though a warrant was issued. This is not true. Speedy trial rights can be implicated, however. Please read this article for a further explanation.
Posting Bail on a Warrant
In some cases, the California warrants will not allow for the posting of bail. A “no-bail” warrant requires special treatment. Call us immediately for help with these types of warrants. In all other cases, the judge must set the bail when issuing the warrant.
Get Help from a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
For a further explanation on posting bail, or for immediate help posting bail, contact Demenic J. Lombardo, a San Diego warrants attorney. Domenic J. Lombardo provides a free consultation in cases involving San Diego warrants or California warrants.