No warrant that you receive should be ignored. It will still exist in your file and failing to act on these official court records will complicate your case and could cause jail time.

What is an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant must first be approved by a judge before it can be executed, but only after investigators present their findings with compelling evidence. Once the arrest warrant has been issued, law enforcement agents have the power to search for you and place you under arrest.

Following your arrest, you’ll be processed (booked) at a police station to establish proper identification, and your fingerprints and facial photographs (mugshot) will be taken by the police for entry into the legal database.

What is a bench warrant?

Bench warrants are issued for “failure to appear” or capias warrants and are the most frequently issued type of warrant. They are different from arrest warrants in that they are not issued at the beginning of criminal proceedings, but rather issued for your failure to appear at a hearing at a specific point in the criminal process.

When a bench warrant is issued, a police officer may not necessarily visit your home to carry out (execute) a bench warrant, but if an officer engages you over something else, like a traffic infraction, and runs your name through the computer, he/she will find the bench warrant and probably detain you.

How do I know if a warrant has been issued?

In either case, you can take proactive measures to find out if a court issued a warrant against you. You can search the court database online, or hire a criminal defense lawyer to do it for you. Your appearance date will be specified in the court’s paperwork, along with any penalties for missing it.

Search the public record using Franklin County Municipal Clerk Lori Tyack’s Court Access and Search Engine (CASE).

PLEASE NOTE: all individuals with outstanding warrants are strongly encouraged to contact a criminal defense attorney.

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