I Have an Outstanding Warrant in Massachusetts. What Do I Do?

You’ve just discovered that you have an outstanding warrant in Massachusetts – what do you do? It may be a bench warrant, which is typically issued when you fail to pay a fine or miss a court date. Or maybe it’s an arrest warrant for something more serious, such as drug possession or assault. In either case, the last thing you want to do with a warrant is to ignore it. With any type of warrant, police officers can pick you up at any time, at which point you will most likely be placed in custody. Proactively dealing with the warrant, however, can greatly improve your outcome.

Never Ignore a Warrant

Once you’ve learned that you have an outstanding warrant, step one is to contact a Boston criminal defense attorney. A warrant is one thing that will never go away until it’s dealt with. Furthermore, warrants can come back to haunt you. Even a bench warrant for failing to pay child support can become a permanent mark on your criminal record. In future bail hearings or court dates, the prosecution will use those marks against you to build a case against your character. Time heals all wounds, but not when it comes to warrants. Even if you manage to dodge an outstanding warrant for several years or move out of state, sooner or later it will catch up to you.

Hiring an attorney, responding to the outstanding warrant, and appearing in court with counsel sends a very clear message – you want to clear up the matter and move on with your life. Having a warrant can be an extremely stressful situation; dealing with it can be a massive weight off your shoulders, regardless of the outcome. But the most favorable outcome can only be realized with experienced representation, prompt response to the warrant, and the right attitude.

Bench Warrant Vs. Arrest Warrant

If a bench warrant is issued against you, law enforcement generally will not actively seek you out. However, any involvement with law enforcement – even a traffic accident that’s not your fault – will likely result in you being taken into custody. With an arrest warrant, law enforcement will actively seek you out. In either case, one you are taken into custody, you will need to post bail to be released from custody.

Removing a Bench Warrant

Typically, to remove a bench warrant, you must pay court costs and fines for your original offense, and a new court date will be scheduled. If you have a relatively good reason why you missed a court date or failed to pay a fine, the judge may negotiate some of the terms with you. For example, he or she may return to you a portion of the bail, or credit that amount to your fines and other costs. This is where having a good lawyer is important. Contact a MA defense lawyer today.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Criminal Defense Law Firm

If you have an outstanding warrant, it is in your best interest to consult with a skilled defense attorney immediately. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed altogether. It is our goal to keep your record clean and keep you out of jail. Our knowledgeable defense team will make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward with a legal strategy. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and your freedom. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.


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