Los Angeles Warrants Lawyers. Responding to a Bench, Arrest, or Search Warrant.
A warrant is an order issued by a judge authorizing law enforcement to take specific action — such as searching or seizing property or making an arrest. The warrant process provides important checks and balances between the police and the courts. However, as former prosecutors, we at Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP know that courts can make mistakes or rely on inaccurate or incomplete information when issuing a warrant. Our Los Angeles warrants lawyers will give you pertinent advice on how to proceed in your case.
During the past 25 years, our lawyers have handled many cases involving bench, arrest and search warrants. If you’ve been served with a warrant, we can challenge its propriety, and if it’s legitimate, advise you how to comply with its terms.
A bench warrant is issued when someone fails to abide by a court’s order or to appear in court. A judge issues a bench warrant while sitting on the bench — just as the name implies — for the following reasons:
- You are out of jail on bail and fail to show up at your hearing
- You are a witness who fails to appear as directed by a properly served subpoena
- You fail to pay a fine ordered by the court
- You fail to comply with a court order
A bench warrant directs police to arrest you. If there is a valid reason you didn’t comply, for example, you experienced unforeseeable travel delays or your child was hospitalized with a sudden illness — our firm asks the court to reset the hearing or extend the deadline for you to follow the standing order. Even if you do not have a good excuse — for instance, you just forgot about your court date — our attorneys are often able to convince the court to quash the warrant and schedule a hearing for you to appear.
An arrest warrant must be based on probable cause — that a crime was committed and that the person arrested is the likely suspect. Although the law requires evidence that reaches the probable cause standard, judges in reality often rubber stamp arrest warrants requested by police officers.
If you learn that there is an outstanding warrant against you, we advise you to consult with our experienced counsel immediately. Our Los Angeles warrants lawyers can arrange the least disruptive circumstances under which to turn yourself in. For certain crimes, we may be able to arrange for your bail and release prior to complying with the warrant. For more serious crimes, we can often give you time to get your affairs in order first. Otherwise, you risk arrest at your home, in front of your family, at your job or in an equally unpleasant and embarrassing situation.
A search warrant permits law enforcement to conduct a search associated with a criminal investigation. The search can be of you, your home, your property, your car, your computer or a technical communication device. You or your property may be the subject of a warrant, even if you are not suspected of an offense if the judge reasonably believes that a crime was committed and evidence is likely to be found at the place described in the warrant. Police are only allowed to conduct a warrantless search with express consent, incident to a lawful arrest or upon another legal exception. During the criminal trial process, we zealously challenge evidence gathered without a properly executed warrant.
For candid advice on responding to a warrant, contact our experienced criminal defense team
If you are served with a warrant, call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online. We discuss your rights, obligations, and options for dealing with your warrant at your free initial consultation.