Los Angeles County Warrant Recalls

In Los Angeles County, warrant recalls can be tricky. The first question is, why was the warrant issued? Courts issue arrest warrants in a variety of circumstances. The process for recalling the arrest warrant depends on the severity of the case and why it was issued.

A Los Angeles County warrant can interfere with the ability to get a driver license, travel, or get a job. The only way to get peace of mind is to get the warrant recalled, and deal with the underlying case.

Los Angeles County Warrant Recalls

Bench Warrants for Failure to Appear

Sometimes, a defendant misses a court date. This results in the judge issuing an bench warrant, ordering any police officer to bring the defendant before the court.

The best way to handle this is to show up to court, explain why the defendant missed the court date, and request that the warrant be recalled. In many cases, the judge will recall the warrant and the case will continue with no further problems. In more serious cases, this can result in remand, increased bail, or additional terms of release such as GPS monitoring.

Bench Warrants for Probation Violations

Los Angeles County judges may also issue arrest warrants or “bench warrants” when people do not complete their terms of probation. People sometimes struggle to complete their community service, DUI programs, or other obligations; or proof of completion simply doesn’t make it into the court file. The court reviews the file on the due date. If proof of completion isn’t in the file, then the judge issues a bench warrant.

The solution to this situation is to show up to court. Ideally, when we show up to court, we’ll have the proof of completion (or at least substantial progress) in hand. Even with nothing, we can often negotiate additional time to complete the obligations and an opportunity get back into the court’s good graces.

Probation violations can also impact a defendant’s ability to get a post-conviction dismissal under Penal Code section 1203.4, et seq. (commonly called an expungement). It is important to finish the obligations and successfully complete probation to earn a dismissal of the case.

Arrest Warrants in New Cases

Sometimes, a defendant misses their court date because they never knew about the case. This leads to an L.A. County judge issuing an arrest warrant at the first court date when the defendant doesn’t show up. This can happen because the defendant never received a letter with the court date on it. Often, the defendant showed up to court on the date on their notice to appear, but no case was filed yet. Then, the prosecutor filed the case a few months later and mailed a letter to the defendant. It is common for these letters to get lost or mis-delivered.

Another way for an arrest warrant to issue at the beginning of the case is when the police file a case, requesting a warrant to arrest the suspect. Then, the warrant goes into the system and the defendant doesn’t know about it. The police may go immediately look for the person and arrest them. However, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, the police will send a letter to the defendant, requesting that they come to the police station to address the warrant. However, this is usually a mistake – you will be taken into custody and have to pay bail or wait to see a judge. The better plan is to retain an attorney and go directly to court, where the judge is more likely to order a release on your own recognizance (OR Release) with appropriate terms. Even if a peaceful surrender at the police station is appropriate, it is best to have an attorney call in advance to arrange for the surrender and coordinate with a bail bond agent to expedite the defendant’s release from jail.

Arrest Warrants in Old Cases

In many cases, a Los Angeles County warrant remains outstanding for years or even decades. In these cases, there may be legal arguments that the government had an obligation to find the defendant and bring them to court. These due process arguments under a case called Serna can lead to dismissal of the case. It is important to discuss your case with a qualified Los Angeles County criminal defense attorney to explore your options.

How We Can Help With Los Angeles County Warrant Recalls

At Criminal Defense Heroes, we have persuaded judges to recall hundreds of warrants – usually without the client being present. We have an excellent reputation with Los Angeles County judges and prosecutors. During our consultation, we can assess whether the client will need to be present, and make a plan for recalling the warrant and handling the underlying case. Don’t go to court alone – bring your Criminal Defense Hero with you! Call us today at 323-529-3660 

Here is one example of a case where we helped a client by getting the court to recall a Los Angeles County warrant. We’ve done this many times in many different types of cases.