When police or other law enforcement believe they have probable cause to charge an individual with a felony crime, they must first obtain a warrant to place them under arrest. That warrant is issued on behalf of the state by a judge or a magistrate, authorizing police to arrest the individual to await trial.
However, in order for this warrant to be issued, the police must prove probable cause. Essentially, they need to convince the judge that they have more than a suspicion of guilt, but that the evidence does not essentially rise to the level of complete certainty. The greater the evidence available prior to the arrest, the greater the odds they will be granted that warrant.
And if they are granted that warrant, they can charge an individual with a felony crime, which carries a prison sentence between 1 year to life, or death in the case of murder in Georgia. As a greater degree of crime, felonies are usually reserved for the more serious, dangerous and violent crimes and carry penalties beyond a prison sentence. Convicted felons can expect consequences ranging from losing second amendment rights to being barred from holding certain jobs.
Know Your Rights
If you are being investigated in connection with a crime, always assume that all your words can be used against you. Whether the police are reaching out to you because they suspect you of a crime or they believe you witnessed a crime, your first move should be to speak with an attorney no matter what.
This applies to any conversation you have with law enforcement, whether they come at you with a subpoena or a search warrant. Under no circumstances, regardless of their intentions or your own legal standing, should you divulge any information without an attorney present. If you ask to see an attorney, they can’t legally compel you to say anything until they arrive.
It is crucial that you uphold your right to remain silent. Law enforcement agents are highly trained in securing a conviction, and that includes getting you to talk. Even if you believe that you can prove your own innocence by talking it out with the police, without the protection of a lawyer, they will find ways to get you talking. They may convince you to let them search your property. And they will try to get you mixed up and confused hoping you will say something to hurt yourself or contradict something you said earlier.
You can’t save yourself by talking your way out of it. You can only get yourself into further jeopardy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Warrants in Georgia
How Long Does a Felony Warrant Last in Georgia?
There is no statute of limitations for very serious felonies in Georgia. For low-level felony related crimes, the statute of limitations is 7 years.
What is a Felony Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is a legal document that allows law enforcement to apprehend or bring into custody an induvial that is believed to have committed a crime.
What is a Felony Bench Warrant in Georgia?
A felony bench warrant is usually issued for those that fail to appear in court for the charges held against them.
This type of warrant is usually issued from the judge’s courtroom bench. The only way to clear this warrant is to appear in a court of law with your attorney.
What is a Felony Search Warrant?
A search warrant is an approved legal document from a judge that allows law enforcement to search a property or vehicle as part of a pending criminal investigation. Please note that the validity of a search warrant can be challenged in court and if you are ever asked to consent to a search warrant, politely decline any searches and ask to speak with a lawyer.
Understanding Your Options
If you believe that a warrant has been issued for your arrest in the state of Georgia, speak with your attorney right away so they can contact the proper authorities and find out more. The attorney can speak with law enforcement or the courts on your behalf, they can determine what the charges against you are, protect your rights, and possibly challenge the evidence against you – without opening you to self-incrimination or revealing your current location.
From here, you have two options:
Challenge the Warrant and Arrest
First, you can fight the charges. Whatever your attorney learns about the warrant issued for you, it’s important to understand that you haven’t been convicted of anything yet. In the eyes of the law, you are considered innocent, and your attorney now has an opportunity to start fighting before any arrest is made.
Turn Yourself in With an Attorney by Your Side
It may be wise to turn yourself in and then request to be released until your new court date. This may seem like an admission of guilt, but it isn’t. In fact, it’s an opportunity for your defense attorney to gather vital information about the case against you. Working in tandem with your attorney, you enter police custody, learn the details of the charges, and work on getting released with a bond, so that your defense attorney can begin preparing your case in court.
Turning yourself in serves as a sign of good faith to the court, lets you avoid an unexpected arrest in a public setting, demonstrates that you are not a flight risk and overall helps your case and your chance for bail. And working alongside you, your attorney will ensure that you say nothing that could be used against you.
It Just Takes the Right Attorney
A felony warrant can be an imposing thing to have hanging over your head, but it is not a certainty that you will spend time in jail. It just means that you have a fight ahead of you, one you shouldn’t enter into alone.
At Busbee Law Group, we are built for that fight. We keep our caseloads low so that each and every client gets the full power of our resources and expertise. To our skilled attorneys, you are not just another case. You are a person who deserves the best representation possible.
And that’s what we give you, with a dedication that gives us an edge in the courtroom. Our thorough preparation allows us to know more about your case than the prosecution does, crafting a defense that has proven successful time and time again. We focus on your freedom, and we don’t stop until you get it.
Schedule a no-obligation case evaluation today and let us fight for you.