If you are facing an arrest in Michigan, get in touch with the experienced criminal defense attorneys at George Law, who can help ensure that you are well-defended and your rights are protected. Contact us at (248) 470-4300 or online. Read on to learn more about Michigan arrest warrants, including how a criminal defense lawyer can come to your aid in a criminal case.
Evidence To Obtain An Arrest Warrant
An arrest warrant is a written judicial order issued against an alleged perpetrator of a crime in response to a charge filed against them by either law enforcement or the victim of a crime. To issue an arrest warrant, a judge must find probable cause that the individual charged has committed the crime. An arrest warrant may also be issued for failure to appear in court, even for minor crimes, such as traffic violations.
An arrest warrant cannot be issued simply because an officer has a hunch that someone has committed a crime. Instead, officers must provide actual evidence that a particular person likely committed the crime.
If an officer can prove to a judge that a reasonable person would believe that the person named in the arrest warrant was involved in the crime, the warrant will likely be issued. Similarly, a judge can issue an arrest warrant if a person charged with an offense fails to appear for a court hearing.
Types Of Arrest Warrants
There are several types of arrest warrants in Michigan, including:
- Bench Warrant: This is a warrant issued by a judge that allows police to take a person into custody for failing to appear in court, pay court fines or child support, and for probation violations,
- Telephonic Warrant: Under Michigan law, this warrant can be issued in response to a telephone or electronic communication between the judge and the individual filing the complaint.
- Ramey Warrant: These are pre-filing arrest warrants released without filing a formal complaint with the court.
- John Doe Warrant: These are arrest warrants based on someone’s physical description or other known details because the individual’s name or alias is unknown.
What Rights Do Arrest Warrants Give The Police
An arrest warrant allows police officers to enter a suspect’s home or workplace and arrest the person. Arrest warrants are not search warrants. This means that if the police believe that an individual is in a specific location, whether it’s their property or not, the police may enter to arrest the suspect. They cannot generally do a deep search of the premises, but they can take evidence in plain sight during the arrest.
Additionally, arrest warrants issued in one state are valid in all other states. For example, suppose you are pulled over in Florida on a traffic violation. If your name or physical appearance matches an arrest warrant issued in Michigan, the Florida police may arrest you.
How Long Are Michigan Arrest Warrants Valid
An arrest warrant in Michigan is typically valid for 99 years. Police do not need to request an extension if the suspect is not found and brought in within a specific timeframe. An arrest warrant can be removed if the suspect is arrested or if probable cause no longer exists. For example, if an arrest warrant is issued on Person A, but police later learn that Person B committed the crime, the arrest warrant on Person A can be removed at the state and national levels.
Finding Out If You Have An Arrest Warrant
If you believe that you may have an arrant out for your arrest but are unsure, it is best to find out as soon as possible to avoid further consequences. The Michigan State Records website provides names of individuals with pending arrest warrants.
Removing An Arrest Warrant
In some situations, bench arrest warrants are issued without an individual’s knowledge. This often occurs when individuals unknowingly miss court dates due to transportation concerns, not knowing about the hearing or an emergency.
If a bench warrant is issued for someone’s arrest, a copy of the warrant is typically mailed to the individual’s last known address. Once notified of a warrant, there are two options:
- Voluntarily turn yourself in; or
- Wait to be arrested and held in jail until a new court date is scheduled.
If you want to turn yourself in, it is best to contact the court and notify them. The court may give you a date to appear and turn yourself in. If you take this route, you will likely be in a better position because you will be allowed to explain your situation and why you missed court or failed to pay the fees. If the court agrees with your reasoning, the judge may work with you and cancel your bench warrant.
Moreover, turning yourself will likely make you appear more responsible to the court. If you have questions about an arrest warrant, it is best to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have or believe you have a warrant out for your arrest, the experienced attorneys at George Law can help you get an arrest warrant removed and work with you throughout your case. For a free, confidential consultation, contact George Law at (248) 470-4300 or online.