How to know if There is a Warrant for Your Arrest.

If you suspect that there may be a warrant out for your arrest it is important to resolve the matter as soon as possible. There are a few different ways an individual may determine whether or not there is a warrant out for their arrest.

In cases involving allegations of serious criminal behaviour or where the accused poses a risk to the public, the police will proactively execute the arrest warrant immediately or soon after it is issued. In these situations, the police will attend the accused’s home, place of employment or any other location they are known to frequent to execute the warrant and take the accused into custody.

In other situations where the accused does not pose an imminent risk to the public, the officer investigating the criminal activity will reach out to the accused to let them know that there is a warrant out for their arrest. This allows the accused to voluntarily turn themselves in to police.

In other cases, however, where the police do not make contact with the accused right away, it may be unclear whether or not there is an active warrant outstanding. In these cases, individuals have a few options.

The accused may contact the police themselves, either in person or by phone and inquire as to whether they have any outstanding warrants. Should an accused take this route they run the risk of being taken into custody and held until they can secure bail. Similarly, an accused may also contact the courthouse in the jurisdiction in which they committed the offence and inquire about any outstanding warrants with the Court Clerk. This option also leaves an accused exposed to being arrested and held in custody pending bail.

Another option is for the accused individual to hire legal counsel to look into the matter. This option allows for the most protection of the accused’s rights throughout the process and will generally ensure the booking and release process is smoother than if the accused negotiated their surrender on their own. When legal counsel becomes involved it is possible for them to contact the investigating officer ahead of time to determine what charges have been laid against the accused, whether the accused will be held for bail or released on their own recognizance or a promise to appear and whether a surety will be required.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

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Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Know if There is a Warrant for my Arrest?
Can the Police Arrest me Without a Warrant?
-Arrest Without a Warrant
-Arrest With a Warrant
Where can the Police Arrest me if There is a Warrant for my Arrest?
Do I need a Lawyer if I Have an Arrest Warrant?

Additional Resources

Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

How do I Know if There is a Warrant for my Arrest?

Having criminal charges filed against you can be an unsettling and confusing experience. This is true even more so for those who are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system, or those who are being charged as first-time offenders.

This confusion can be further compounded in situations where an offender has committed a crime or believes they have been accused of a crime but have not yet been arrested or charged. In some cases, an arrest warrant may have been issued for an accused without their knowledge. This can leave individuals waiting and wondering if or when the police will decide to execute the warrant.

If you believe the police have knowledge about a crime you have committed, or that someone has made accusations about you to police, there may be a warrant out for your arrest. Donich Law has experience negotiating the surrender of clients to ensure they are processed through the system and released in the shortest amount of time possible.

Can the Police Arrest me Without a Warrant?

There are many different ways an individual may be arrested and criminally charged. In some cases, individuals may be arrested without a warrant and in other cases an arrest warrant is necessary to make an arrest.

Arrest Without a Warrant

The police may arrest an individual whom they have caught in the commission of an offence, whom they have reasonable grounds to believe is about to commit an indictable offence, where they have reasonable grounds to believe there is a warrant out for the accused’s arrest or if they believe it is in the public’s interest to arrest the individual, either to identify the them or to preserve evidence.

Arrest With a Warrant

In other situations, the police may be required to get an arrest warrant from the Court to make an arrest. If police are made aware of a crime being committed either through their own proactive investigation or through a third-party tip, they may request that a Justice issue a warrant for the arrest of a particular individual or individuals. Before a Justice will issue an arrest warrant, they must have a reasonable belief that the person named in the warrant has committed a criminal offence.

Where can the Police Arrest me if There is a Warrant for my Arrest?

If there is a warrant out for your arrest the police may arrest you anywhere inside the jurisdiction that issued the arrest warrant. This means that if a Court in Ontario issued a warrant for your arrest, any police officer inside Ontario may arrest you. The Court in one province or territory may also endorse a warrant originally issued in another province or territory. This allows officers in the province who endorsed the warrant to arrest the named individual even though they are not the jurisdiction that issued the warrant originally.

Courts across Canada may also issue a Canada Wide arrest warrant for an individual. Such a warrant allows an officer anywhere inside Canada to arrest the individual named in the warrant. An individual named in an arrest warrant issued by a Superior Court or by a Court of Appeal may also be arrested anywhere inside Canada, regardless of which province or territory issued the warrant.

Do I need a Lawyer if I Have an Arrest Warrant? 

While it is not legally necessary to retain legal counsel if you suspect you may have a warrant out for your arrest, it is often prudent to do so. Having the assistance of legal counsel to negotiate your surrender may help ensure that you are not held in custody longer than necessary. It will also help ensure that you have a strong bail plan in place including a surety if necessary if you are held for a bail hearing.

Further, an accused person who chooses to turn themselves in without first consulting legal counsel may say or do something that will hurt their case in the long run. Legal counsel can ensure your rights are protected throughout the arrest and booking process and that you do not make any utterances that may be used against you later.

Donich Law regularly negotiates the surrender of our clients with various police forces throughout Southern Ontario. Generally, it is best to deal with an outstanding arrest warrant as soon as possible. Ignoring such a problem will generally lead to more serious problems in the future. If you believe there is a warrant out for your arrest, our Firm can confirm that is true and arrange for your surrender. We can confirm whether or not you will be held for bail and if so, can assist in developing a strong bail plan to be presented to the Court.

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