Frequently Asked Questions about Warrants in Boston
Types of Warrants in Massachusetts
Massachusetts was the very first state to implement a proper warrant management system, and there are many types of warrants that are kept in a real-time database for immediate access. The most common type of warrant used by law enforcement officers throughout Massachusetts are arrest warrants. Arrest warrants are issued by a Massachusetts court judge on behalf of the commonwealth of the state, and these warrants allow law enforcement officers to detain the person named in the warrant. When an arrest warrant is implemented, the person named in the warrant will be brought before a court of law.
In addition to the judges of district courts, the Parole Board, the Department of Youth Services, the Department of Corrections, and the Superior Court are also empowered to issue arrest warrants. In addition to arrest warrants, bench warrants are also issued on a regular basis when a defendant has violated the rules of the court. Bench warrants commonly involve cases where the defendant has simply failed to show up to court. Once a bench warrant has been issued by a judge, the police can use it to bring the defendant back in front of a judge.
While the bench warrant is issued by a judge, the arrest warrant process is started by a law enforcement officer. In order to obtain a warrant, the officer must file a statement with a judge explaining why he believes a person has committed a crime. If the statement is convincing and has “probable cause”, the judge will sign the warrant authorizing the officer to make the arrest.
Do you have a warrant against you?
It is important to know if you have a warrant against you or not, but the Massachusetts State Police do not maintain a database of warrants that is accessible to the public. You should avoid asking a police officer about an arrest warrant because it will automatically result in an arrest if there is in fact a warrant. You should first enlist the help of a Boston criminal defense lawyer who can help you determine which county in Massachusetts may have issued your warrant. Your attorney can call law enforcement and inquire about any arrest warrants that may be issued against you.
If there is a warrant out for your arrest, you can be brought in by the police at any time. Once you are arrested, you will typically be brought before the court on the next day. Having a warrant on your record is never a positive thing, and it may result in a driver’s license suspension and other unfortunate consequences. In order to remove a warrant, you must show up to court.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many arrests that do not require a warrant at all. If you have a suspicion that you are under investigation for a crime, it is wise to call a Boston criminal defense attorney immediately. Here at Keegan Law, our team of skilled defenders knows how to defend your rights against any type of warrant that you may be facing. Our criminal defense firm has extensive experience defending all types of people in court, and we never back down from a challenging case. Contact Keegan Law now for a consultation!