Most people think of arrests for criminal activity in Connecticut as things that happen immediately. The police see you breaking the law or suspect that you are doing so, and they arrest you on the spot. While this is one way that people can get arrested in Connecticut, and a common way at that, it is not the only option in the arrest process. A lesser known way that a person could be arrested is through the arrest warrant application process. If you think that you may face an arrest warrant, or you have recently been informed of a warrant out for your arrest, read on to learn more.
The Arrest Warrant Process
As mentioned above, a police officer may arrest a person right away when they see them committing a crime. However, in other cases, the police do not have the proper evidence to make an arrest. This may be the case if the police do not actually witness a crime taking place. In this situation, the police need to launch an investigation to determine who is responsible for criminal activity. The investigation process may take a long time because the police will need to investigate the scene of the crime, interview eyewitnesses or other people related to the case, process evidence, and determine if there is enough evidence to make an arrest. Collecting phone records and processing forensic evidence can take a long time. The whole investigation process could take weeks, months, or even years in some cases.
Once the investigation process is completed, the police submit an arrest warrant application to the prosecutors in the local courthouse. The prosecutors can then decide if they want to sign the warrant and proceed with the case, or if they do not think that there is enough evidence and reject the warrant. If the prosecutors do sign the warrant and choose to proceed with the case, the application will then go to a Connecticut Superior Court judge. If a judge signs the warrant, the police are then informed and it is their job to execute the warrant. This means that they can make an arrest of the suspect listed on the warrant.
What to Do If There is a Warrant Against You
Because this process can take so long, you may be caught off guard when the police finish an investigation and decide to charge you with a crime. If you suspect that a warrant may be executed against you at some point, it is best to contact a Connecticut criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. Even if you are not charged yet, or if you are never charged, it can only help to begin preparing for a charge as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you achieve this by gathering evidence and establishing the strongest defense available to you.
Even though this can be a stressful time, try not to panic. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible and you will have the opportunity to protect your rights and defend yourself.