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Warrant for Your Arrest? Know the Basics

If a judge receives a complaint from law enforcement establishing probable cause to believe that a criminal offense was committed, that judge can issue a warrant for the arrest of the person believed to have committed the crime. In other limited situations, a magistrate, court clerk, or officer of the court can issue a warrant. Once authorized, a warrant grants law enforcement the ability to arrest or serve any summons to the individual named. Anyone with a current warrant in Ohio can be found in this online database.

The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Kruger & Hodges understand the complex laws related to warrants. We also have significant experience helping people who have warrants issued to respond to law enforcement requests. If you have questions about the various warrants in Ohio, or if you have a warrant out for your arrest, we urge you to contact our law office right away.

Probable Cause to Support a Warrant

To determine whether probable cause exists to issue a warrant, law enforcement sometimes allows hearsay statements to be used. Other times, before a warrant is issued, the court will decide to require the person who made the initial complaint to appear before the court and answer questions while under oath.

Information Contained in Warrants

Courts that issue warrants must state whether the warrant was issued in advance of an initial bail hearing. If the warrant was issued in advance, there are important Ohio laws (found in the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure) that determine how bail is set.

When a warrant is issued after a person fails to appear in court, Ohio courts sometimes issue warrants that list the amount of bail as well as the date when the defendant is supposed to appear in court. Many warrants also contain the following information:

  • The name of the defendant
  • A description of the offense being charged
  • Details about whether the warrant is issued before or after the defendant’s appearance
  • Details about the applicable statutes or ordinance
  • A copy of the complaint will be attached to the warrant.

Failure to Appear Before Court

If a person fails to appear in response to a court summons in Ohio, law enforcement will often issue an arrest warrant.  This is commonly referred to as a “bench warrant.” Rather than try to hide from law enforcement if you fail to appear, it is a much better idea to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal lawyer who can help review your various available options.

It is also important to know that if you fail to appear before the court, the court will issue a warrant that includes details stating:

  • That you must pay a bail bond or cash with the condition that you appear before the issuing court at a certain date and time
  • That you must be held without bail until brought before the issuing court

Speak with an Experienced Ohio Criminal Lawyer Today

If a warrant has been issued by a judge in Ohio for you or a loved one, it is common to feel scared about what will happen next. One of the best steps that you can take is to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Kruger & Hodges. We understand how warrants are issued in Ohio and we will fight to preserve your rights. Contact our Butler County Criminal Defense Attorneys today to schedule an initial free consultation.

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