What to Do and What Not to Do When a Warrant Is Issued for Your Arrest

Having a warrant issued for your arrest can be an incredibly confusing and exceptionally
frightening situation. Many people, due to a lack of knowledge of how the process works,
will let these emotions get the better of them, causing them to take ill-advised actions in
response to discovering the warrant.

An arrest warrant is a form of authorization granted by a judge which allows law
enforcement to arrest an individual who is suspected of committing a crime. Law
enforcement must demonstrate some amount of probable cause that the individual was
involved in the crime in order to obtain an arrest warrant. What this means is, if a warrant
has been issued for your arrest, the police likely have some evidence that points to your
involvement in a crime that was committed.

Whether you actually were involved in the alleged crime or you believe you are completely
innocent of wrongdoing, there are actions you should take in response to discovering that
the police have a warrant out for your arrest. There are also actions that will only make your
situation worse and which should be avoided at all costs. In this blog we have detailed
some of the steps you should take and some that you should never take in response to
learning the police have issued a warrant for your arrest.

As always, please keep in mind that this blog does not constitute legal advice for your
specific situation. If you are facing criminal issues, you should always consult with an
attorney like Greg McCollum before taking any action.

What To Do:

There is a limited amount you can do to find out if a warrant has actually been issued.
Remember that rumors spread quickly, and just because someone tells you the police are
looking for you doesn’t necessarily mean there is a warrant out for your arrest. Unserved
arrest warrants are NOT public records, so you will not be able to quickly get online and
confirm whether or not there really is one.  If you call the local police department they might
tell you there is a warrant, but usually they won’t say. Also, if you are accused of a crime in
an unincorporated part of your county the warrant would most likely be issued by a member
of the sheriff’s department.

If you live within city or town limits and you call the city police department, they will not know
the warrant exists unless they do an NCIC search, which they will most likely not do. In our
jurisdiction, the warrant officer typically knocks on your door. If you are not home, they will
leave their business card in your door. When you call them, they may or may not have say
they have a warrant.  Sometimes they tell you but other times they just say they would like
to talk to you and when you meet them you are arrested.  If you think you may have a
warrant outstanding, immediately contact the Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense
Team. From this point forward, you should follow the advice of your attorney in all matters
regarding how you should react to the warrant.

Ultimately, you should always address the warrant. Not thinking about it will not make it go
away. Your attorney can arrange for you to turn yourself in under your own terms, rather
than having the police barge into your home or place of work to arrest you.

What NOT To Do:

1) Never try to run. You will only add to the list of charges against you and make your
situation much worse than it was before.

2) As previously stated, not thinking about the arrest warrant will not make it go away.
Rather than ignoring the warrant, you are much better off addressing it head on with the
help of a skilled attorney.

3) Do not attempt to fly or otherwise travel—especially internationally. Airport security may
check databases for outstanding warrants, and it will likely be assumed you are trying to
flee if you attempt to travel.

4) Do not attempt to enter a military base. Any arrest warrant issued will immediately revoke
any passes or rights you previously had to enter the base.

5) Never attempt to surrender yourself without first talking to an attorney. If you discover
that a warrant has been issued for your arrest in the State of South Carolina, please contact
the Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team immediately and let us advise you on
the best course of action based on the circumstances of your situation.