Toms River Warrant Defense Lawyers
Anyone who has a warrant for their arrest in Ocean County, New Jersey should retain an attorney. Waiting or ignoring the fact that there is a warrant for your arrest will only lead to stress, complications, and perhaps even unwanted incarceration. Ignorance of the warrant is not a defense in the eyes of the law. Further, even if you believe there is no reason for your warrant to have been issued, you will still be arrested when you ultimately come in contact with police. If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest in Toms River, Manchester, Brick, Seaside Heights, Jackson, Point Pleasant, or another municipality in the Ocean County area, there are things you should know about warrants, how they are processed, and how a lawyer can help. If you would like to discuss a specific situation involving an arrest warrant for you or someone you love, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers for the help you need today. We serve clients throughout Ocean County and the Jersey Shore, and we are here to provide you with a free consultation anytime at (848) 238-2100. You can also try contacting us online and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly.
What Is a Warrant in New Jersey?
Essentially, a warrant is legal permission for law enforcement to take you into custody and place you in Ocean County Jail until you can be seen by a Judge. Warrants are either “arrest warrants” issued for a crime that was allegedly committed, or “bench warrants” issued by the court for some other reason. Warrants are issued to effectively grant authority to police officers to force you to appear in court by taking you into custody.
Generally, only a judge can rescind or recall a bench warrant once issued. Until then, unless you take control of the situation and you turn yourself in or have the warrant recalled with the help of an attorney, you will continue playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the police, who will eventually identify you one way or another.
Why Are Warrants Issued in NJ?
Warrants are issued to secure your appearance in court. There can be many reasons why a warrant is issued. Arrest warrants are issued by police and sometimes authorized by prosecutors once a complaint has been made against you or an indictment found.
Arrest Warrants based on Criminal Charges
In most cases, a criminal complaint begins with an investigation by the police based upon their own information or that which is provided by a third party. Whether the complaint is made by a citizen or you are observed by the police, the complaint against you can be put on a warrant as opposed to a summons (mailed/ticket notice to appear). This means that the police are required to arrest you and take you into custody to be processed.
Once in police custody, law enforcement will gather your biographical information and fingerprints. After all of the necessary information is obtained, court staff will run your identifiers through the system, thereby generating a “score.” This scoring is an alternative now used in lieu of cash bail in New Jersey. The PSA (public safety assessment) score assists the court in determining if you are a risk for public safety, offending again, or not appearing in court once released. After the scoring is complete, the prosecutor has the option of filing a motion requesting that you be detained until trial. Often, during this phase, we are able to successfully negotiate the terms of your release with the prosecutor in exchange for a list of conditions. If you are held, a detention hearing will occur during which the judge will make the determination as to whether you should be further detained or released with conditions. At this point, our lawyers can often successfully argue for your release. This is the process for arrests warrants due to new charges. But not all cases involving warrants are associated with new offenses.
Bench Warrants for Failure to Appear or Fulfill Court Conditions
In many cases, bench warrants are issued by judges sitting in courts in which people were required to appear on prior occasions but failed to do so. Often, there is an open case for which the person failed to show up or otherwise failed to fulfill some condition imposed by the court, i.e. pay fines, doing community service, etc. For this failure, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest known as a bench warrant.
Bench warrants are issued for numerous reasons. For example, they can be issued for:
- Failing to report to pretrial services as directed (violation of monitoring)
- Failing to report to probation
- Failing to fulfill the conditions of probation
- Violating the conditions of your parole or ISP
- Violating the terms of a payment order issued by a municipal court
- Failing to show up for a pre-sentence investigation report
- Failing to appear in court as directed
- Violating the terms of your release from jail
- Not appearing in court because you are in another jai
- Failing to report to municipal court on a motor vehicle ticket, disorderly persons offense or ordinance violation.
Despite the numerous reasons that warrants may be issued, there are many ways in which skilled criminal defense attorneys can help.
How Can a Lawyer Help When a Warrant Has Been Issued in Ocean County?
Often, those arrested on outstanding warrants are unaware of the warrant or may have had no control over the matter. If this is the case, we can challenge the sufficiency of the court notice and determine whether you have been provided with adequate notice to appear or whether the notice was defective. Even if you were given notice, we can potentially negotiate your release with the prosecutor. Just providing information about your whereabouts, employment, family life, how you will get to court in the future, and the circumstances surrounding the warrant, can be valuable in convincing a judge that you should be released.
Additionally, in the case of an arrest warrant, we can assist with turning you into the police, or Ocean County Courthouse, or municipal court. We will speak with the officers or prosecutor beforehand and walk you through the process while protecting your rights. Sometimes, it helps to let the prosecutor know that, for example, you were in rehab or a domestic violence shelter and did not receive notice, but that you will turn yourself in on a specified date. Making good on your word and appearing with your attorney can go a long way toward rescinding the warrant and ultimately resolving the case.
No matter what the issue, we can help with your case if you recently discovered a warrant for your arrest in Ocean County NJ. Likewise, if you or a loved one has recently been arrested, you should consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney at our local firm to discuss your options and go about preparing your best defense. To speak with a criminal lawyer now, contact our office in Point Pleasant at (848) 238-2100.