A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that gives law enforcement officers the legal right to perform a specific duty. A fugitive warrant is a special type of arrest warrant that is issued to a fugitive.
If you have questions about what a fugitive warrant is, the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can help. We have handled many cases where our clients have been issued fugitive warrants. We have helped them fight to get the charges against them reduced or dismissed.
What Is a Fugitive?
A fugitive is someone who has fled the jurisdiction where they have been prosecuted. Reasons someone would flee include:
- To avoid prosecution
- To avoid punishment
- To run from the law
A “fugitive from justice” is a term to describe a person who has been charged with a crime in one state but is found in another state.
Consequences if You Flee From Justice
Once you flee from justice, you are considered a fugitive. Those who flee may face more serious consequences as a result of being a fugitive. Consequences that could occur to those who flee from justice include:
- You may face extradition – If you flee to another state or country to avoid the consequences of the crime, you could be extradited to the state or country where the crime occurred. The state where the crime occurred must prove you are a fugitive. Once proven, you will be brought back into the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to face prosecution.
- The statute of limitations for the crime may no longer apply – You cannot hide in another state or country to wait out the statute of limitations. Someone can still be charged after the statute of limitations has passed if they were considered a fugitive.
- The possibility of a harsher sentence – Running from the law may result in a judge, if you are convicted, being less lenient. You may face a longer sentence or lose the chance at community service instead of incarceration.
If you need help understanding what consequences you could be facing, our attorneys can help. We want to help you avoid extra consequences and avoid a conviction.
How Is a Fugitive Warrant Different From an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is issued if the terms of an agreement have been violated after a conviction or there is probable cause that a crime exists. Once an arrest warrant has been issued, you could be arrested by law enforcement officers at any time. Other reasons an arrest warrant might be issued include:
- There is a suspicion a crime has been committed
- Failing to appear at a scheduled court case
- Not following the terms of probation
- Not paying parking tickets
A fugitive warrant is mostly the same as an arrest warrant. The difference is that a fugitive warrant is issued to someone who has fled from the jurisdiction where the crime occurred to avoid prosecution. A fugitive warrant is an arrest warrant that is issued in one state or county for a person who has fled to another jurisdiction.
The National Crime Information Center provides a database for law enforcement officials to search if someone has a warrant out for their arrest. A fugitive warrant allows different law enforcement agencies to cooperate. It also deters people charged with crimes to run to another state or country knowing they could be extradited and still face criminal prosecution.
Find Out if You Have a Fugitive Warrant
If you believe you might have an arrest or fugitive warrant, there are tools to find out online or you could find out in person. An online tool to check if you have a warrant in Pennsylvania includes the Pennsylvania Judiciary Web Portal.
If you’re unable to search online, you can go to the police station or the courthouse within the jurisdiction where you believe you have a warrant to check. Once you are our client, we can search if there are any active warrants in your name.
You Have the Right to Retain an Attorney to Defend You
If you had an active warrant and moved and it has escalated to a fugitive warrant, we can help. We will work tirelessly to reduce or dismiss the charges brought against you. If you retain our firm, you can expect:
- Our attorneys will review your charges in-depth and investigate why you have a fugitive warrant.
- Compassionate attorneys who will listen to what happened during the time of your arrest and after.
- A defensive strategy with litigators who have handled similar cases.
- A responsive attorney. You will always be able to get a hold of your attorney or promptly receive a return phone call or email.
- Our attorneys will help you prepare for court appearances.
- The attorneys from our firm will provide legal guidance on if we will fight to have the charges dropped, negotiate a plea deal, or fight for you in a trial.
- Frequent updates on your case and answers to any of your questions.
Our Firm Can Help if a Fugitive Warrant Has Been Issued
If a fugitive warrant has been issued in your name, we can help. It is never too early to retain an attorney to defend your freedom. No matter what your charges are, our attorneys will fight for you. Find out what our past clients have to say about our firm.
If you want more information about what a fugitive warrant is, contact the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call for a free consultation. During the consultation, we will listen to what happened and explain your legal options and how we can help.