The other day I received a phone call from a client who is living in New York. The client told me that about 8 years ago, while they were living in Illinois, they were arrested for a felony drug case. They appeared in Court and eventually plead guilty and received probation. While the client was on probation, they moved to New York and never checked in with probation after leaving Illinois. They were just denied a job when a background search revealed an outstanding warrant for a Probation Violation out of Illinois. The client wanted to know what they could do to clear up the warrant and if they could hire me to take care of the warrant without the client having to come back to Illinois. I frequently receive phone calls from people who have outstanding warrants. As a matter of fact, while I was writing this article, I received a call from a client who found out that an arrest warrant was issued against him last night for a Domestic Battery. The client wanted to know if there was any way that I could make a call or do something to avoid him having to turn himself in and appear in Court. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to take care of an outstanding arrest warrant. Let me explain.
What Is An Arrest Warrant?
An Arrest Warrant is a Court order signed by a Judge authorizing the police to take you into custody and bring you to Court to answer to criminal charges. In order to obtain an Arrest Warrant, a police officer appears in front of a Judge with an affidavit laying out a sufficient factual basis to establish probable cause, more probably true than not true, that a crime was committed and that you are the one that committed the crime. If the Judge is convinced that there is enough probable cause to justify your arrest, the Judge will issue an Arrest Warrant that will usually have a Bond amount that you can post to be released after you are processed by the police and given a Court date to appear to answer to the charges. If you do not appear for a Court date, the Judge will issue a Bench Warrant ordering the police to bring you to Court if they come in contact with you. If you did not appear in Court for a misdemeanor, the Judge will set a Bond at the time the Bench Warrant is issued. If you fail to appear in Court for a felony, the warrant will usually be a “no-bail warrant,” which will Order the police to bring you to Court as soon as possible after you are taken into custody.
What If I Live Out-of State?
An Arrest Warrant does not disappear just because you moved out of Illinois. An Arrest Warrant will stay on your record and will follow you around wherever you go. If you are arrested out-of-state and the Illinois Arrest Warrant pops up when you are arrested, the local police will notify the authorities in Illinois and let them know that they can come and get you and bring you back to Illinois. The local police will not bring you back to Illinois but they will notify the authorities in Illinois to come and get you. The Illinois authorities will have up to 30-days to come and get you or else the local police will release you if the only reason you are in custody is because of the outstanding Illinois Arrest Warrant.
If the Illinois authorities do not come and pick you up for the outstanding Illinois Arrest Warrant, and you are released by the local police, the Illinois Arrest Warrant does not disappear and go away. The Illinois Arrest Warrant will remain in force until you are brought before the Illinois Court that issued the outstanding Arrest Warrant. This means that you will continue to be arrested by the police until you appear in front of the Court that issued the outstanding Warrant and have the Warrant cleared up.
How Do I Clear-Up an Outstanding Illinois Arrest Warrant?
There is no easy way to clear, or remove, and outstanding Illinois Arrest Warrant. If the warrant has a Bond already set, you can turn yourself in to any Illinois police agency and post the Bond to be released immediately. You will be given a Court date to appear in the Court that issued the Arrest Warrant to answer to the criminal charges. If the outstanding Arrest Warrant does not have a bond set, after you turn yourself in to the police, you will be taken into custody and brought to Court to answer to the warrant. In all cases, the reason for the Arrest Warrant, will come back to life and you will be given an opportunity to deal with the case that was the basis for the warrant. If the warrant was issued because of a Probation Violation, you will have to answer to the allegations behind the Violation of Probation. If a warrant was issued because of an outstanding criminal case, you will have to deal with the criminal case. Many times, the witnesses needed by the state to prove the criminal case against you, are no longer available and the criminal case against you will be dismissed. But all of this could take a little bit of time for the state to find its file and contact its witnesses and determine whether they can proceed with the criminal case against you.
However, if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, the only way to deal with it is to appear in Court and to resolve the case against you. There’s no easy way to avoid having to appear in Court and to clear up this matter. Until you deal with the outstanding warrant, there’s no way to remove it from your record or to make it disappear without addressing the issue.
James Dimeas, is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, criminal defense lawyer, with over-27 years of experience handling criminal cases in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the Year 2018 and 2019” by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney” and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys awarded James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” James Dimeas is rated “Superb” by AVVO, the highest classification possible for any criminal defense lawyer in the United States. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.
If you have an outstanding arrest warrant out of Illinois, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a personal consultation by calling him at 847-807-7405.
Do The Police Have To Read You Your Rights If You Are Arrested?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, September 5, 2017.
What’s the Difference Between a Felony, Misdemeanor and Municipal Violation, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, August 8, 2017.