How an Arrest Warrant Works in Colorado
In Colorado, police have the right to arrest a person and bring them into custody after an arrest warrant has been issued by a judge, magistrate, or grand jury. Once a warrant has been issued, it generally remains in effect until the suspect is placed under arrest, they appear in court, or it gets cancelled.
Warrant don’t automatically “expire.” You can even be arrested in another state for a Colorado warrant that was issued years ago.
If you think there may be a warrant against you, contact a lawyer. If you reach out to law enforcement officials on your own, you could be taken immediately into custody. Contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. by calling (719) 475-2555 to learn more.
What Is an Arrest Warrant?
There are two types of warrants: arrest warrants and bench warrants. An arrest warrant is an order issued on behalf of the state allowing law enforcement to arrest a person and place them under custody. An arrest warrant is initiated by police when they suspect that someone has committed crime.
To begin the process, a police officer presents a sworn affidavit with their evidence to a judge. If the judge agrees that there’s probable cause to believe a crime was committed, the judge will issue a warrant.
In the affidavit, police must present the judge with results of an investigation that connects the suspect to the alleged crime, such as:
- Witness testimony
- Anonymous tips
- Physical evidence such as fingerprints or DNA
- Statements made by law enforcement regarding their interactions with the suspect
The judge or magistrate who issues must be “neutral and detached,” which means the judge should not know the suspect in any way. A warrant will contain the following information:
- Name of suspect
- Alleged offense
- When and where the warrant was issued
- The judge’s signature
- Limits on where apprehension can be made
- Bail amount
What Is a Bench Warrant?
Bench Warrants instruct police to apprehend someone for violating a court order. They are instigated by a court, not the police. Judges typically issue a bench warrant when someone fails to perform one of the following court-ordered actions:
- Failure to appear at a court hearing for trial or sentencing (FTA)
- Failure to pay a traffic citation
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to respond to a jury duty summons
- Failure to appear when subpoenaed to testify in a criminal or civil trial
- Failure to pay court fines or restitution
- Failure to meet court order regarding probation
- Failure to perform court-ordered community service
Know Your Rights
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 7 of Colorado Constitution affirm that every arrest warrant must be supported by an oath declaring probable cause for the alleged offense.
The arresting officer must advise you of your constitutional rights, which include:
- To remain silent
- To have an attorney present
- To be provided with an attorney if you cannot afford one
If you get arrested, you only have to answer questions about your identity, such as name and date of birth. Try to remain as calm and polite as possible, and ask to see your lawyer immediately.
You have a right to make a phone call within a reasonable amount of time after booking.
The police may not listen to your calls to a lawyer, but may listen to calls to other people, so be careful what you say on the phone. You will be put in front of a judge for arraignment as soon as possible, and this usually occurs with 48 hours of your arrest.
Were You Arrested in Colorado Springs?
With more than two decades in practice, Timothy Bussey has the experience and skill to provide effective legal defense for his clients facing criminal charges.
If you have been arrested, contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. to learn more by calling (719) 475-2555 and schedule a FREE and confidential consultation. We’re on your side.