What to Do If You Have an Arrest Warrant

If you have an arrest warrant, it can be a stressful and confusing situation to navigate. You may not know what steps to take to resolve the issue, or you may feel scared about the consequences. However, it’s essential to stay calm and take action to address the warrant. In this article, we’ll outline what you should do if you have an arrest warrant, including steps you can take to resolve the situation and protect your rights.

Understanding Arrest Warrants

Before we dive into the steps you should take, let’s start by understanding what an arrest warrant is. An arrest warrant is a legal document that authorizes law enforcement to arrest and detain an individual. This warrant is issued by a judge or magistrate after they have determined that there is probable cause to believe that the individual committed a crime.

Checking for an Arrest Warrant

If you’re unsure whether you have an arrest warrant, there are a few ways to check. You can contact your local courthouse or law enforcement agency to ask if there are any active warrants for your arrest. Additionally, you can use online databases, such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or your state’s criminal records database, to check for any outstanding warrants.

Hiring an Attorney

If you discover that you have an arrest warrant, it’s crucial to seek legal representation. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and potentially negotiate a resolution to the warrant. Your attorney can also advise you on whether it’s safe to turn yourself in or if there are alternatives to resolve the warrant.

Turning Yourself In

If you choose to turn yourself in, it’s essential to do so safely and in a way that protects your rights. Contact your attorney and inform them of your decision. They can advise you on the best way to turn yourself in, such as where and when to do so. When you turn yourself in, it’s crucial to remain calm and respectful to law enforcement. Remember that anything you say can be used against you, so it’s essential to remain silent and wait for your attorney to arrive.

Resolving the Warrant

Once you’ve turned yourself in, the process of resolving the warrant begins. Depending on the circumstances, you may be released on bail or held in custody until your hearing. Your attorney will work with the prosecutor to negotiate a plea deal or a reduced sentence, or they may represent you in court if your case goes to trial. It’s essential to follow your attorney’s advice and attend all court hearings and meetings.

Protecting Your Rights

Regardless of whether you turn yourself in or are arrested, it’s essential to protect your rights throughout the legal process. Remember that you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to a fair trial. It’s crucial to exercise these rights and avoid self-incrimination. Additionally, you should avoid discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney.


Having an arrest warrant can be a daunting and stressful experience, but it’s essential to take action to resolve the situation. By understanding your rights, hiring an attorney, and following their advice, you can potentially negotiate a resolution and protect your future. Remember that turning yourself in and resolving the warrant is a significant step towards addressing the issue and moving forward.


  1. Can I be arrested without an arrest warrant?

Yes, in some cases, law enforcement can arrest an individual without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.

  1. What happens if I ignore an arrest warrant?

Ignoring an arrest warrant can lead to further legal issues, such as additional charges or increased penalties. It’s crucial to address the warrant promptly and work towards resolving the situation.