In many instances, someone's journey through the criminal justice system begins with an arrest warrant. When a police officer shows up at your front door with the warrant, your natural reaction to it might be to submit to the arrest. However, the circumstances might warrant a different reaction. If you are concerned that an arrest warrant might be issued for you, here is what you need to know about the document and your rights.  

What Should Be in an Arrest Warrant?

When an officer claims to have a warrant for your arrest, you more than likely believe him or her. However, it is your right to ask to see the warrant. There is a possibility that the warrant is not valid. Arrest warrants have to meet certain criteria to be considered valid.  

To obtain an arrest warrant, a police officer has to submit an affidavit to a judge. In the affidavit, the officer has to state what crime you are alleged to have committed and give your name and description. If these requirements are not met, the judge more than likely will not issue the warrant.  

However, if the judge does issue the warrant, there is still a possibility that it is not valid. If you are presented with a warrant, check it for factual errors. Most importantly, check it to ensure that it accurately identifies you. If not, ask the officer if you can show him or her identification to prove that you are not the person identified on the warrant.  

Unfortunately, factual errors does not always extend to innocence. Even if the claims made on the warrant are untrue, if your name and description are accurate, you more than likely will have to be arrested.  

What If You Did Not Commit the Crime?

Regardless of whether or not you committed the crime detailed on the warrant, you have the right to defend yourself. Assert your right to have legal counsel present and do not make any statements about the charge to the police. Remember, the police will use anything you can say to build a case against you.  

The attorney can take action towards getting you released on bond. He or she can also start to work on your defense. Do not wait to call a criminal defense attorney. The earlier you have an attorney involved in your case, the better the possible outcome will be.  

If an officer has not shown up with a warrant yet, but you believe it will occur, call an attorney. He or she could negotiate with the prosecutor to have you turn yourself in to save the embarrassment of being arrested. For a criminal defense attorney, contact an attorney such as Thomas A Corletta.