A warrant is a writ—formal written order—from a judge that usually authorizes the party executing the writ to perform an act that would otherwise be illegal and violate the rights of the subject of the warrant. When a person knows that a warrant has been issued for his or her arrest, it is a mistake to assume that the warrant will eventually be forgotten about because once they are issued, warrants do not expire.
While warrants do not necessarily result in police officers actively combing neighborhoods to locate the subjects, it is certainly not uncommon for subjects to find themselves in handcuffs as the result of a basic background check during a routine traffic stop for what would have otherwise been a minor offense. People who have warrants issued against them should know that there are ways to resolve their situations such that they never have to spend any time in a local jail.
Fort Worth Lawyer for Arrest Warrants
Has an arrest warrant been issued against you in Tarrant County or a surrounding area in Texas? It is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation for help negotiating the most favorable possible outcome to your scenario.
The Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys at Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC assist scores of residents with outstanding warrants in Fort Worth and Arlington in Tarrant County, TX. We also represent clients in Cleburne, Weatherford, and the surrounding areas in Johnson County and Parker County, Texas. You can take advantage of a completely free initial consultation that will allow our firm to review your case as soon as you call 817-502-3600 right now.
Overview of Warrants in Tarrant County
- When can police use arrest warrants?
- What are bench warrants?
- What kinds of property does a search warrant allow authorities to look for?
- Where can I learn more about warrants in Fort Worth?
A warrant of arrest is defined in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 15.01 as “a written order from a magistrate, directed to a peace officer or some other person specially named, commanding him to take the body of the person accused of an offense, to be dealt with according to law.” A warrant is required to contain the three following details:
- It must specify the name of the person whose arrest is ordered, if it be known, if unknown, then some reasonably definite description must be given of him;
- It must state that the person is accused of some offense against the laws of Texas, naming the offense; and
- It must be signed by the magistrate, and his office be named in the body of the warrant, or in connection with his signature.
After a warrant has been issued, Code of Criminal Procedure § 15.23 states that an arrest may be made on any day or at any time of the day or night and Code of Criminal Procedure § 15.24 establishes that all reasonable means are permitted to be used in making the arrest. A police officer is not required to have the actual warrant in his or her possession to make the arrest.
Bench warrants—also called failure to appear or FTA warrants—are issued by judges when alleged offenders are not present for not being present in court on specifically scheduled dates. Failure to appear is a form of contempt of court, and the warrants are so named because the judges issue them from their elevated areas commonly referred to as the bench.
The municipal court in Fort Worth has two specific types of warrants that may be issued by the court:
- Alias Warrants are issued for alleged offenders who fail to appear in cases involving class C misdemeanor charges; and
- Capias Pro-Fine Warrants are issued when an individual has been assessed a fine but has failed to comply with the court’s orders.
Unlike the authorization in arrest warrants for subjects to be taken into custody, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 15.01 states that search warrants order officers to search for any property or thing and to seize the same and bring it before the judge. Search warrants do not in and of themselves allow police officers to arrest the subjects, but it is generally safe to assume that the subject is probably the focus of a criminal investigation.
Law enforcement seeks search warrants from judges when they have probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime can be found in a location to be searched or criminal activity is currently occurring at the location.
To obtain a search warrant, the law enforcement officer must file a sworn affidavit that establishes probable cause that a specific offense has been committed, a specifically described person has been a victim of the offense, evidence of the offense or evidence that a particular person committed the offense can be detected by photographic means, and the person to be searched for and photographed is located at the particular place to be searched.
Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 18.02, search warrants may be issued to search for and seize:
- Property acquired by theft or in any other illegal manner;
- Property specially designed, made, or adapted for or commonly used in the commission of a criminal offense;
- Arms and munitions kept or prepared for the purposes of insurrection or riot;
- Prohibited weapons;
- Gambling devices or equipment, altered gambling equipment, or gambling paraphernalia;
- Obscene materials kept or prepared for commercial distribution or exhibition;
- A drug, controlled substance, immediate precursor, chemical precursor, or other controlled substance property, including an illegally kept, prepared, or manufactured apparatus or paraphernalia;
- Any illegally possessed property;
- Implements or instruments used in the commission of a crime;
- Property or items, except the personal writings by the accused, constituting evidence of an offense or constituting evidence tending to show that a particular person committed an offense;
- Contraband subject to forfeiture; or
- Electronic customer data held in electronic storage.
Police are required to follow very strict guidelines when performing search warrants, but some situations do allow for warrantless searches.
Some of the situations in which a warrant is not required include, but are not limited to a police officer being in pursuit of an alleged offender, needing to prevent the destruction of evidence, or having to search for additional alleged offenders.
Warrants | City of Fort Worth, Texas — You can learn more about why a warrant might be issued for your arrest in Fort Worth on this website. You can also look up warrants to see if you currently have any active warrants. Warrant fines and costs can be paid in full online, over the phone, or in person via Western Union Quick Collect, and active warrants will be canceled by the Fort Worth Municipal Court upon confirmation of payment from Western Union.
Fort Worth Municipal Court
1000 Throckmorton Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Warrants | Tarrant County — You can learn more about the deputies who handle warrants for the Sheriff’s Office on this website. The five units include the Fugitive Unit, Mental Health Deputies, Extradition Deputies, Transportation Deputies, and clerical staff. The employees assigned to manage and serve active criminal and mental health warrants.
Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division
200 Taylor Street
Fort Worth, TX 76196
Find a Warrants Lawyer in Fort Worth, TX
If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, do not let a simple traffic offense lead to you being taken into custody. If you were the subject of a search warrant in Texas, you should make sure that the search was lawfully conducted.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC helps clients with these kinds of warrant issues in communities throughout Parker County, Johnson County, Tarrant County, and the greater North Central Texas area. Let our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys review your case by calling 817-502-3600 or submitting an online form today to set up a free, confidential consultation.