In order for police to take a person into custody in Denver, Aurora, or Lakewood and keep them there, an arrest warrant is often obtained. With some exceptions, law enforcement needs to show probable cause to a judge or magistrate (sometimes even a grand jury) that supports their belief a person committed a specific crime. Once the court reviews the supporting documents / files, the warrant is issued and police can execute an arrest based on the terms in the warrant itself. This is a critical time for any defendant in a criminal case and contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney can significantly impact what happens next.
Reasons for a Denver Arrest Warrant
Some defendants are confused or caught off guard by an arrest warrant. They may not think they’ve done anything wrong, don’t realize the severity of the situation, or something from the past resurfaces. Below are several circumstances that can result in an arrest warrant in Jefferson, Arapahoe, or Denver County:
- law enforcement has probable cause that you committed a crime,
- you failed to appear at a court date,
- didn’t pay court ordered fines, traffic tickets, or child support,
- ignored a subpoena to testify,
- chose to not show up for jury duty,
- or violated terms of probation
Probable cause is essentially some type of basis that an offense likely happened. In some cases, there has to be something beyond an accusation. Testimony from a witness, anonymous tips, texts / emails, investigation results, and statements often qualify as probable cause.
What Happens After a Colorado Arrest Warrant is Issued?
Police attempt to execute a warrant once the court gives the green light. Law enforcement has to locate the suspect, follow any specific instructions in the warrant, and take the person into custody. Some important elements of arrest warrants to remember include:
- they can remain active for months or even years and do not expire,
- appear on your criminal record,
- and exist on a national database allowing them to be executed in any state
Sometimes police stumble upon an arrest warrant after a traffic stop or in a situation where they request someone’s ID. When there is a hit, they must execute the arrest.
Will Law Enforcement Arrest Someone in Denver Without a Warrant?
Absolutely. Many exceptions exist that protect police should they make an arrest lacking a warrant. When they believe a crime has been committed in their presence, they have probable cause a felony has occurred, the situation involves an emergency, or there’s a possibility evidence could be destroyed, they can and will make an arrest without a warrant.
Fortunately, an experienced criminal lawyer can challenge some elements of an arrest warrant if applicable. A person’s rights may have been violated if law enforcement made errors or was careless in their execution. It’s best for a suspect or defendant to remain compliant in the heat of the moment and then speak with a defense attorney as soon as they’re able. If you or someone you know is aware they have an active warrant or has questions about how theirs was executed, Sawyer Legal Group is available 24/7 to speak with you or your loved ones.
Don’t talk to law enforcement about arrest warrants – talk to us. 303-731-0719
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