There are a variety of circumstances and situations in which there may be an outstanding warrant for your arrest in Massachusetts. In any event, it is crucial that you address the warrant as soon as possible. When there's an outstanding warrant for your arrest the police have the authority to arrest you wherever they find you, even if you haven't been caught committing a crime or some other infraction. The longer a warrant goes with any action or response to it, the more difficult it may become to clear without sacrificing some of your freedom. That is why it is important to have an experienced, skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney by your side as you address your outstanding warrant. Attorney David Ellison can help you navigate the warrant-clearing process, and fight for you to keep your freedom.
WHY WOULD I HAVE A WARRANT IN MASSACHUSETTS?
There are a number of different reasons you might have an outstanding warrant for your arrest. Some examples include:
- Not appearing for your court date or for jury duty
- Failing to pay court fees and fines
- Probable cause to believe you have committed a crime
- You are on probation and have violated the terms and/or conditions of your probation
- An allegation that you violated a court order (i.e. a restraining order)
It is important to know what your outstanding warrant is for in order to be adequately prepared for what the Court will be asking of you. Having an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney by your side can make this process easier to digest, and reduce your stress in clearing your warrant.
CAN I CLEAR MY WARRANT WITHOUT GETTING ARRESTED?
It is certainly possible to get rid of your outstanding warrant without ever being arrested. You will need to make contact with the specific court where your warrant was issued from, and be prepared to speak to a judge about the warrant.
You will first need to arrange to have your case heard with the Court, usually by speaking to the Court's clerk. Once you have your case sent to the courtroom, you will likely need to be heard in front of a judge. You may be able to clear your warrant and be on your way back home. But, depending on the warrant (and multiple other factors), the prosecutor may ask to set bail on you, potentially resulting in you needing to pay money to avoid being incarcerated.
An experienced and skilled attorney can assist you in this process, guiding through the Court's procedure. They can arrange your case to be heard in front of the Court, speak to the State on your behalf (whether it's a prosecutor or your probation officer) and then potentially make a bail argument on your behalf.
WHAT IF I CLEAR MY WARRANT, AND THEY ASK FOR BAIL?
Under Massachusetts General Laws, c. 276 § 58, the purpose of bail is to set an amount that would “reasonably assure the appearance of the person before the court after taking into account the person's financial resources…” This means that the point of bail is to make sure that a person will come back to court. It also means that the amount of bail that is set by the judge should reflect the person's finances.
A judge will determine, based on arguments presented by the State (potentially a prosecutor or a probation officer, or both) and the Defendant, whether that person should be held in jail, released on conditions, or released without any conditions but with their promise to return to court (also known as “personal recognizance”). Some (but not all) of the things that the judge will take into account when making her/his decision will be:
- Your history of appearing/not appearing for your court dates
- The length/seriousness of your criminal record
- Your employment
- Your ties to your community
- Your responsibilities outside of court
The judge can decide to release you, but with certain conditions. These may include, but are not limited to:
- A court order to stay away from a person or property
- A GPS monitoring bracelet
- Compliance with drug and/or alcohol testing
- Checking in with a probation officer
An experienced defense attorney will be able to negotiate your ability to appear in Court to the District Attorney (prosecutor) prior to their making any bail request. If the State asks for bail anyway, your attorney can fight for you against the prosecutor, and argue for your ability to appear in Court in front of the judge. Attorney David Ellison has made countless bail arguments, and will fight alongside you through the process of clearing your warrant.
If you or a loved one has an outstanding warrant for their arrest, it is vitally important to contact an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney who is ready to guide you through the process and fight alongside you. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.