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How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant in Utah?

An arrest warrant issued by a Utah court in a criminal case can remain outstanding indefinitely until the defendant is arrested and brought to court or otherwise addresses the warrant and underlying issues with the court. A bench warrant can require police to arrest the defendant and bring the defendant to appear before the court. Unless the defendant can post bail or a bond, a defendant who has been arrested on a warrant will usually be held in jail until the court can schedule a hearing on the case.

If you believe that an arrest warrant may have been issued for you in a Utah criminal case, Salt Lake City defense attorney Stephen Howard can help you locate outstanding warrants using Utah's statewide warrant system, we can help you find warrants anywhere in the state. More important, we can help you determine the best way to address the warrant and help resolve the underlying legal issues. Contact us today for help.

Why does a court issue a warrant for my arrest?

Arrest warrants can be issued in Utah criminal cases for a variety of reasons, including the filing of new charges, a failure to appear at a required court date, or an alleged probation violation. Regardless of the reason for the warrant, a defendant may be arrested by police and held in jail until a court hearing has schedule.

Warrants in New Criminal Cases

Many warrants are issued immediately upon the filing of a new criminal case. While prosecutors have some discretion regarding whether to request a warrant or a summons, in most cases (other than minor misdemeanor offenses) it is common for a prosecutor to immediately request a warrant.

A summons delivered to a defendant is intended to provide notice that a criminal case has been filed against the defendant. A summons will normally provide instructions to a defendant to either appear in court on a particular day and time, or to contact the court to schedule a court date within a prescribed period of time. Many prosecutors involved in felony or serious misdemeanor cases will immediately ask the court to issue a warrant rather than a summons, claiming that "there is reason to believe that the defendant will not appear upon a summons."

If you learn that a new case has been filed or that an arrest warrant has been issued for a new criminal charge, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine the best strategy to address the situation. Waiting for the police to arrest you is not a solution to the problem. An experienced criminal lawyer can help you determine the best way to address your case.

Warrants for Failures to Appear

When a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing, it is common practice for the court to issue an arrest warrant. With only a few exceptions, constitutional due process protections prevent a court from taking action in a criminal case if the defendant is not present in court. Instead of proceeding with the case, the court will suspend most actions in the case and issue an arrest warrant. Once the defendant has appeared voluntarily or been arrested and brought back to court, the court will proceed with the case.

Consequences of failing to appear can include bail forfeiture, re-arrest, an increase bail or bond requirement, as well as the potential loss of the goodwill of the court and prosecutor. If you fail to appear at a required court hearing, it is generally best to contact the court before you are arrested. Promptly contacting the court is generally advisable. But the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney is also important, and can give you the best chance of avoiding these negative consequences.

Warrants for Probation Violations and Orders to Show Cause

If a court receives reports that a defendant on probation has violated the conditions of probation or the terms of a plea-in-abeyance agreement, the court can issue an order to show cause and a warrant requiring that the defendant be brought before the court to address the alleged violations.

When an order to show cause is issued by a court, the court in some cases will hold the defendant in jail while the alleged violation is being adjudicated. In other cases, the court will allow the defendant to remain out of custody either on an own recognizance release or by posting bail or bond. If you learn that an arrest warrant has been issued in conjunction with an order to show cause, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine what options are available to you and the best strategy for addressing the issues in your case.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerBased in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients rights in cases ranging from homicide to DUI, and virtually everything in between. If you are facing criminal charges in Utah or believe that you may have an outstanding arrest warrant, the assistance of an experienced defense lawyer can be vital to achieving the best possible results in your case.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE TOPICS
Can police arrest someone just on a hunch?
Do police have to show me a search warrant before entering my home?
Do arrest warrants expire in Utah?
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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