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Understanding Colorado Arrest Warrants

Arrest or active warrants are issued by judges on behalf of the state. They order any law enforcement officer to place the person named on the warrant into police custody. An arrest warrant will stay in effect until you are placed under arrest, appear in court, or until it is canceled by the judge that issued that issued the warrant.

Most people think that warrants “disappear” or are withdrawn after a certain amount of time passes. That is wrong. Warrants are rarely canceled — it costs nothing to keep a warrant on the “books” and the message to the public if a warrant is canceled is “just wait it out.”

Judges are adamant that those who face their charges should not be at a disadvantage.

Colorado Arrests With Active Warrants: Reasons Why

Warrants can be issued for a number of reasons and there is no guarantee that you will get notice of an active warrant before one is issued against you. The common reasons that a court can issue a warrant against you are as follows:

  • FTA – Failure to show at a court hearing where you have been ordered to appear either for sentencing or to face criminal charges
  • Failure to respond to or pay a traffic citation
  • Failure to make timely child support payments
  • For arrest of persons suspected of a crime (must be accompanied by sworn affidavit)
  • Failure to respond to a jury duty summons
  • Failure to comply with a subpoena to appear to testify in a criminal or civil mater
  • Failure to pay court ordered fines or restitution.
  • Failure to comply with court orders regarding probation and/or community service
  • How To Find Out if There is an Active Warrant Against You

This is difficult. Depending on where in Colorado you are located, you can sometimes use your jurisdictionfs online system to check if a warrant has been issue against you or you can call the warrant department. You will need certain identifying information whether you inquire on the phone or online, this will include your name, age, and birth date, race, and sex. Be aware that going into the court is not advisable if you think there might be an active warrant against you, for you could be immediately taken into custody. One good source in Colorado which the author uses is Colorado Court Data Search.

Police Rights and Responsibilities

Since an active warrant is an order issued by a judge, police officers are bound to take you into custody. The warrant must be valid on its face and the officer is responsible for ensuring that the warrant is valid on its face. In order to be deemed valid the warrant must be issued by a court that has jurisdiction, must describe the crime that the warrant is being issued for, must name and describe the person being sought, and must be signed by the issuing judge. The officers are also required to verify that you are the actual person named on the warrant if you state that they are making a mistake. Officers, can be found liable for civil damages, if they place you under arrest in error.

Help from a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer With Your Arrest Warrant Situation:

H. Michael Steinberg – Experienced Colorado Criminal Defense

The information provided in this article is for general guidance only, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you think you might have an active warrant against you should contact an attorney that is licensed to practice in your area. An attorney can verify if there actually is a warrant against you and work to get it cleared before you are taken into custody as well as ensuring that your rights are not violated.

Call H. Michael Steinberg at any one of three numbers listed on his website (303-627-7777 – or his Pager 303-627-7777 – or his cell – in an emergency 720-220-2277.

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