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Arrest Warrants and Pre-Arrest Information & Frequently Asked Questions

PoliceTop Stamford criminal lawyers will always tell clients who are subjects of police investigations to never speak to the police without first consulting with a criminal defense attorney. Being the subject of a police investigation can be terrifying and lead you to feel a lot of stress and panic. The police often look to take advantage of your vulnerable state of mind to pressure you into making statements that can be later used against you. The police are trained to exploit your emotions. As Stamford criminal attorneys we represent people who have been contacted by the police about an investigation and often we can work to gather exculpatory evidence and convince the police to not proceed with an arrest warrant. In other situations, our clients may have an outstanding warrant issued against them and they contact our office to provide guidance and assistance in making arrangements to turn themselves in. No matter your particular situation, if you are under police investigation, you should always make contacting a Stamford criminal attorney your first step before you say or do anything.

On this page we are going to provide some useful information about arrest warrants in general to help better explain what they are and how they work. Later we are going to address some frequently asked questions that we hear all the time from our clients about arrest warrants. If you don’t see the information you are looking for here, feel free to give us a call for a free, no obligation, initial consultation at (203) 357-555 or contact us online.

A lot of our clients are confused about what an arrest warrant is and also people in the general public seem to feel that just because an arrest warrant has been issued against someone that means that they are probably guilty. This is not true. An arrest warrant is only an allegation made by a police officer. I have seen the police make a lot of crazy accusations in the last three decades that I have been practicing law. You always have to keep an open mind when reading an arrest warrant as it is really a one-sided story.

So - What is an Arrest Warrant in Connecticut?

Top Stamford criminal lawyers will agree that there are two ways that police can initiate criminal proceedings in Connecticut. The first is from their personal observation based upon what is known as “speedy information.” These are the kind of arrests that the police make when they are on the scene of a crime. They are known as “on site” arrests. On site arrests have to happen quickly and if too much time passes the police must go and apply for an arrest warrant to effectuate an arrest.

A warrant arrest is the second way that arrests occur in Connecticut. The arrest warrant process involves the Police officer writing out a sworn statement of allegations against you which the officer feels proves you committed a crime.

It is important to realize that our criminal justice system is an adversarial process. The way the system is designed, people who are accused of crimes are allowed to have lawyers like me to defend them and present exculpatory evident to contest the allegations against them.

The problem with arrest warrants is that when a police officer is drafting an arrest warrant there is no Stamford criminal lawyer there to keep the officer honest to make sure he includes all the facts – even those facts which may show that you are innocent. There is no one there to overlook the work of the police officer to verify if the assertions contained in the warrant are accurate and reasonable based upon the actual evidence or if they are over exaggerated. In practice, Police often leave out any information which tends to support your innocence and only put in the bad things to try and paint the worst possible picture they can about you. They do this because by this point, they feel that you are “the guy” who committed the crime and they think they “got you.”

Often police are unable to be open minded enough to consider that there could be other suspects. Many police officers see their jobs as being agents of the State’s Attorney to prosecute cases and not investigators of the truth.

After a police officer prepares an arrest warrant application it is sent off to the State’s Attorney who will review it to determine if it is a case that the State’s Attorney wants to prosecute. Every year there are hundreds of cases where the police apply for warrants and the State’s Attorney refuses to sign them because they feel there is no way they could prevail with that case at trial. The State’s Attorney does not have to prosecute every crime and has the discretion to not prosecute any particular case. The final step in the warrant process is the judicial review by a Judge of the Superior Court to determine if there is probable cause that a crime has occurred. Usually a Judge will sign most warrants as the probable cause standard is really low as I will explain in greater detail.

So, Just What is Probable Cause?

Probable cause if just about the lowest standard of proof we have. "Probable cause" to arrest someone exists when the facts and circumstances within the police officer's knowledge would lead the officer to reasonably believe that someone has committed a crime. "Probable cause" is more than a hunch or mere suspicion but does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the person has committed a crime. A finding of probable cause in an arrest warrant does not mean that you are guilty. Probable cause does not mean that you do not have defenses to the allegations contained in the warrant. You can only be convicted if a Jury finds that the State has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Once an arrest warrant is issued and you are arrested the media and press are going to publicize the allegations in the arrest warrant all over the internet. Your employer, family and friends are all going to look at you differently. You may lose your job. It is going to effect your reputation. You are going to go through a lot of stress and expense to clear your name. The worst part is that you may have defenses to the allegations and the case may ultimately wind up getting thrown out but the damage had already been done to your reputation.

While I always feel good when I get a case against one of my clients dismissed, I am very understanding of what it feels like to be falsely accused of a crime that you did not commit and have to have the embarrassment of going through a criminal arrest. Sometimes, when the police first contact you it is possible to take a proactive approach by contacting a Stamford criminal attorney right away who can work to gather exculpatory evidence as quickly as possible to attempt to convince the police not to file an arrest warrant in your case. The best success stories I have as an attorney are the cases you never hear about because we got involved early in the process. We prevented our clients from making self incriminating statements to the police and we got our investigative team out pounding the pavement gathering evidence to prove our client’s innocence. In many of these situations every year people are never arrested. They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have been contacted by police regarding a criminal investigation do not make any statements before speaking with an experienced Stamford criminal attorney. Make the police build a case against you – don’t make their job any easier by assisting them. Remain silent and don’t consent to any searches of your property, home, office or cell phone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Arrest Warrants in Connecticut
What Should I do if I Find out That I am a Suspect in a Criminal Case?

The best Stamford criminal lawyers would all agree that if you are the subject of a police investigation you should always remain silent and refuse to answer any questions that police may ask you without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lot of my clients do a lot of damage to their case by trying to talk their way out of trouble with the police. The police use these situations of crisis to manipulate you with mind games and play upon your weakness in the moment. This is why it is imperative to seek the counsel of an experienced Stamford criminal attorney who can speak on your behalf. Immediately retaining legal counsel is your best defense to a criminal investigation, not speaking to the police.

Another mistake that a lot of clients make is posting on social media when they are the subject of a criminal investigation. This is a really bad idea. Also, you should refrain from contacting the victim. A lot of times our clients have made the mistake of sending incriminating text messages or voice messages to the victims of crimes. Keep in mind that often the police will have crime victims contact you to try and trick you into making incriminating statements.

If you are the suspect in a police investigation or if you already have a warrant for your arrest issued you should contact our office immediately at (203) 357-5555 24/7 before you speak with anyone.

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Can an Arrest Warrant be Issued Against Me Just Based Upon the Allegations of Another Person?

Yes, you can be arrested just upon the allegations of another party without any other evidence. A lot of or clients are shocked to discover that they were arrested based upon a verbal allegation of a victim. Remember, an arrest warrant requires only probable cause. It does not mean that you are guilty. Probable cause only requires some evidence that a crime was committed. A sworn statement by a crime victim is sufficient to bring an arrest warrant against you in a variety of offenses ranging from assault, domestic violence to sex crimes. You should remain calm in these “he said / she said” situations and resist the urge to get your side of the story out to the police. When we defend these type of cases we focus on the credibility of the accuser and work to find inconsistencies in their accusations.

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How Long Does it Take for an Arrest Warrant to be Issued?

There is no wonder that anyone who is the subject of a police investigation always wants to know how long it will take for an arrest warrant to be issued. It is incredibly stressful to be living while you are waiting for an impending arrest warrant not knowing if, or when it will come. The hard thing about arrest warrants is that the time frame for the processing can vary greatly from case to case. There are many variables that dictate how long arrest warrants can take to process. Police officers work strange shifts and often tracking down leads can take a lot of time when they are working on a night shift. When cases are complex and require accident reconstruction or extensive investigation the processing of an arrest warrant can take several months. The longest delays occur for those cases that require chemical testing from the State crime lab or the forensic lab.

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Will the Police Tell Me What the Charges and Bond Amount is When an Arrest Warrant has Been Issued?

There is no black and white answer to this question. It really comes down to a case by case basis. In Connecticut the only arrest warrants that you can look up online are those for re-arrests. All other arrest warrants are not available online. You can request information from the investigation officer or desk sergeant but in some instances they will refuse to share the details with you. Some police departments have adopted a policy that they do not disclose arrest warrant information over the phone and will require you to personally show up at the police station to obtain information about your warrant where they will likely place you in custody and attempt to interrogate you. Sometimes, a Stamford criminal lawyer can obtain this information on your behalf. If you think you have an arrest warrant pending against you should contact our office as soon as possible so that we can coordinate a bail bond and make arrangements to turn yourself in.

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How can I Find out if an Arrest Warrant has Been Issued Against Me and Will the Police Give Me Time to Turn Myself in?

As I pointed out in the proceeding section the Connecticut Judicial Branch has an online lookup for some active arrest warrants. However, those are only for re-arrests and violation of probation warrants. New arrest warrants are not listed on any public website. If you suspect that you may have an outstanding arrest warrant your best course of action would be to contact an Stamford criminal lawyer to work on your behalf to obtain information about your charges and bond and help to coordinate your surrender and assist you with making bond.

Often the arresting officer will work with your Connecticut criminal lawyer to arrange a convenient time and date to turn yourself in, However, remember that the warrant remains active and the police can and often will take you into custody if they find you in a traffic stop. Also, some police departments immediately go out looking for people when a warrant is issued and go to try and find them at their home and place of work right away. That is why its always best to get ahead of the process, retain a lawyer and turn yourself in before they find you. This was you can have your bond ready and make the process go as quickly as possible as you are promptly released. As soon as you suspect that you may have a warrant pending against you your first call should be to our office to start putting a plan into action to make the process as pain free as possible. We can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555.

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How is the Bond set When an Arrest Warrant is Issued?

When an arrest warrant is issued usually the Judge sets the bond when he signs the warrant. However, in some instances the Judge will leave the bond to be set at the time of your actual arrest by the arresting agency. I guess the thinking is the Judge wants to allow you an opportunity to turn yourself in and see how cooperative you are. In those cases, it makes sense you retain a Connecticut criminal lawyer as quickly as possible to make arrangements to surrender yourself on the warrant and help work out the details for posting bond.

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What Should I do if I Live Out of State?

Clients who live out of state have more difficulties with Connecticut arrest warrants than clients who reside in Connecticut. First, since you live out of state, generally the Court is going to set your bond higher than someone who has strong ties to the community. Secondly, you will have to return to Connecticut to physically surrender yourself on the arrest warrant. It is important to understand that more serious warrants are extraditable meaning that if you were detained in your home state you would be held pending an extradition proceeding and brought to Connecticut. Obviously, in these situations it is greatly preferable to surrender yourself to Connecticut and avoid having to go through an entire extradition proceeding.

For minor, low level offenses, they may not be extraditable but you will be detained every time you are pulled over for a traffic stop and the pendency of an arrest warrant can have adverse effects on your ability to secure employment as it may come up on certain background searches.

If you live out of state and have a pending arrest warrant you should contact us immediately to develop a plan to arrange for your surrender at (203) 357-5555. Remember, never speak to the police without first consulting with an experienced Stamford criminal lawyer.

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How can an Attorney Help Me With an Arrest Warrant?

Our office can assist you in many ways if you are the subject of a police investigation or have a active arrest warrant. Generally, in every criminal case it is a good idea to get our defense team working as quickly as possible to track down any exculpatory evidence that may exist such as video tapes, eye witness statements and other proof that may support your innocence. We have found that with the passage of time often memories fade and physical evidence disappears or gets destroyed. One thing we always do is contact the police on your behalf to tell them to stop trying to question you during the booking process.

Usually we can make the bail posting process less stressful by assisting you with all the options available for posting a bond including appearing at your arraignment to request the 10% cash option in bonds over $25,000 so you do not have to waste money with a bail bond’s man that you will never get back.

Remember an arrest warrant is only an accusation, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and we work tirelessly to defend our clients and provide them the best legal defense possible. If you are the subject of a police investigation or have an arrest warrant pending against you don’t try and talk your way out of the situation, contact an experienced Stamford criminal lawyer today to get some sound legal advice on how to handle the situation.

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Make The Call Today!

If you’re the target of a police investigation or an arrest warrant in the State of Connecticut, let one of the most experienced and highly rated Stamford criminal lawyers help guide you through the process and defend your rights. Attorney Allan F. Friedman will explain your legal options and develop the best defense strategy for your individual case. At the Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman, we put our 28 years of experience to work for you. Call Attorney Friedman at (203) 357-5555 to schedule your free initial consultation we are available 24/7. Or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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