Houston Criminal Law Blog

EXPERIENCED. AGGRESSIVE. HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Why is There a Warrant for My Arrest?

Chapter 15 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the process for a warrant of arrest. There are a variety of reasons for a court to issue a warrant for a person’s arrest. If someone has missed a court appearance, failed to abide by the court’s ruling or is suspected of committing a crime, a warrant may be issued for their arrest.

If a person has a warrant issued against them, they may be arrested and taken into custody at the court’s discretion. This means that they can be arrested at a traffic stop, at their home or at their place of business.

Types of Warrants

There are two main types of warrants that can be issued. Although both types of warrants serve the same basic purpose of bringing someone in to appear before a court, each type is issued under different circumstances. The two main types are:

  • Bench warrants: These are the most common warrants. They are issued for many different reasons. Some of the typical reasons are for missed court dates, failure to appear before a court or for failure to comply with a mandated order.

For example, if someone was ordered to appear before a judge to address a traffic violation, and they failed to show up, a bench warrant can be issued to make them appear before the court to take care of the traffic violation.

  • Arrest warrants: These are used to directly take someone into custody when they are suspected of criminal activity. If police officers or investigators present sufficient evidence to a judge, they can receive an arrest warrant against the person being investigated.

This means that the police can go to the person’s home or workplace and immediately take that person into custody and hold them without a bail option until their arraignment.

Warrants for Missed Court Dates

As stated above, missing a court date is one of the most common reasons for a judge to issue a bench warrant. In addition, a person may be charged with a misdemeanor offense (in most cases) for failing to appear.  The judge can also order fines, a driver’s license suspension and even revocation of bond for a missed court date. These strict penalties mean that skipping a mandatory court appearance (also known as “jumping bail”) is very serious. If you were released on bail or your own recognizance, you should try hard to be present at all your required days in court in order to avoid facing additional charges and penalties.

To learn more, contact The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.

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