How Do I Know If I Have an Old Warrant?

Published: Oct 16, 2017 in Criminal Defense
New Jersey Arrest Warrant Laws

If you think you might have a warrant against you, you should act now to find out for sure. New Jersey arrest warrants do not expire. The longer you wait, the worse the consequences will be when the police eventually find you and bring you to court. Furthermore, you might find it unbearable to live a normal life with a warrant over your head. Imagine the stress and anxiety you will feel every time you see a police cruiser or hear a knock on your door.

The best way to find out if you have a warrant is to contact the authorities. But if you have committed a crime, or you believe you might be a suspect in a criminal case, calling the police or the local court is probably the last thing you want to do. The best option is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer who can do more than just find out about your warrant. They can also assist you if it turns out that you are wanted by the law.

Call Bhatt Law Group today at (201) 798-8000 if you think you may have an old warrant.

Who Can I Contact About a Possible Warrant Against Me?

It is very easy to search online for a warrant. Many websites offer free searches for warrants in just about every jurisdiction in the country. The problem is, these online searches might not be accurate. If your name doesn’t show up in an online search, this does not necessarily mean you don’t have a warrant. The service you are using may not have drawn upon all available records.

So, if your name doesn’t appear in an initial, free search, you should search directly with your local authorities. Some law enforcement agencies and courthouses offer online warrant searches to the public, but most do not. In Jersey City, for example, you cannot search government databases for warrants from your own computer. Instead, you (or your lawyer) will need to call or go in person to one or more of the following government agencies to find out about any outstanding arrest warrants against you:

  • Hudson County Superior Court- Issues warrants for serious crimes only.
    Address: 595 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
    Telephone: (201) 795-6000
  • Jersey City Municipal Court- Handles minor criminal cases, traffic offenses, and parking citations occurring within the city limits.
    Address: Lewis S. McRae Justice Complex, 365 Summit Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
    Telephone: (201) 209-6700
  • Hudson County Sheriff’s Office- Executes warrants issued by the courts, and has access to nationwide warrant records.
    Address: Hudson County Plaza, 257 Cornelison Ave, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
    Telephone: (201) 369-4330
    Most wanted list:
  • Jersey City Police- Municipal law enforcement agency with access to nationwide warrant records.
    Address: 1 Journal Square Plaza, Fourth Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
    Telephone (non-emergency): (201) 547-5477
    Telephone (records department): (201) 547-5313

Understanding New Jersey Arrest Warrant Laws

The ability of a court to issue arrest warrants against you is governed by New Jersey Court Rule 7:2-2. A court can issue the following types of arrest warrants:

  • Warrant for violation of parole or probation conditions
  • Bench warrant for your failure to appear after a summons, to pay a fine, or to obey a court order
  • Warrant for arrest upon filing of criminal complaint, which may only be issued if the court finds probable cause to believe that a crime occurred and that you committed it
  • Warrant for arrest upon indictment, which are issued for serious crimes that require a formal indictment

According to New Jersey Court Rule 7:2-1, an arrest warrant must include the following:

  • The suspect’s name
  • The court that the suspect should be brought to upon arrest
  • The signature of the magistrate or judge who has confirmed the existence of probable cause
  • The amount and conditions of bail (optional)

Bhatt Law Group Can Help

No matter the kind of warrant against you, you should treat the situation seriously. Even a warrant for outstanding parking tickets could land you hefty fines and even possible jail time. For this reason, you should contact a skilled Jersey City criminal defense lawyer if you think you might have a warrant against you.

If you think you might be wanted, call Bhatt Law Group today at (201) 798-8000 to receive your free and confidential consultation.