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Instantly Find Out if You
Have An Outstanding Warrant
in The State of Washington
SEARCH WASHINGTON ARREST WARRANTS
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TOTAL OFFENSES REPORTED......73,175
TOTAL ARRESTS MADE......32,585
Drug Arrests......8,886 (16.1 % were persons under 18 years of age)
Sexual Assault Arrests (forcible and non-forcible).......4,408
Domestic Violence Arrests......49,360
48.8% of violent crimes were committed against female victims.
22.3% of violent crimes were committed against victims under 18 years of age.
GET THE FACTS ON ARREST WARRANTS?
In Washington an arrest warrant is an order issued by a judge on behalf of the state that gives law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual or search a private property for evidence in response to a crime that has been committed. All warrants must be signed by a judge to be legally carried out by any branch of law enforcement. Once an arrest warrant is issued all law enforcement agencies will have access to this information. If you come into contact with the police for any reason and have any outstanding warrant(s) they will show up in their system and you can be arrested on the spot. That's why it's important to know if you have a warrant in your name. The easiest way is to type in the first and last name of the person you want to search in the box to the right and you're on your way to finding out in seconds.
In the United States, an arrest warrant can only be issued if there is substantial evidence an individual has committed the crime in question. This is known as probable cause. To protect the Constitutional Rights of all citizens, probable cause must be established before an arrest warrant is issued. This is accomplished either by a police officer producing evidence connected to the crime or an alleged victim providing a sworn statement in court that the person accused has most likely committed the crime. Once a judge considers all the facts and determines there is enough evidence to prove probable cause, an arrest warrant will be drawn up.
The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure specifies that in addition to an arrest warrant being signed by a judge it must describe the offense the person is being charged with. The name of the individual accused must be stated on the warrant. If the identity of the person is unknown a detailed description of the person to be apprehended must be clearly outlined so the individual can be identified with reasonable certainty. This ensures that innocent citizens will be protected and not wrong fully arrested. Once law enforcement have a legal arrest warrant they can exercise their right to enter a private property or dwelling if the suspect is believed to be within and take that person into custody.
All Arrest Warrants Must Contain the Following Information:
• State the name of the person to be arrested. If the name is unknown, a detailed description of the person must be given in order to identify the correct individual.
• State the offense the person is accused of.
• Be signed by the magistrate of the court.
After an Arrest is Made
As soon as you are placed under arrest, the criminal justice process begins. Once arrested you lose your rights as a free citizen and are no longer able to leave their jurisdiction or move about freely. Physical restraint or handcuffs need not be necessary in an arrest situation. If you submit to a police officer without the use of force an arrest is considered complete. As long as a law enforcement officer has exercised their authority over a suspect and that person voluntary or involuntary submits, an arrest is made.
What Happens When You're Arrested?
Once an arrest has been made, but before you've been charged with a crime, a police report is generated in your name and attached to your personal file. Prosecutors generally file criminal charges within 3 days, so there's a quick turnaround. The report will summarize the details of the arrest (dates, time, location, witnesses, etc). You will be "booked" at the police department and fingerprinted and subject to other procedural requirements. The next step in the process is to wait for a court hearing which usually takes place within 48 hours. Within that time frame expect to spend the time locked up in jail.
When a person is taken into police custody, they have the right to an attorney as defined in the U.S. Constitution. If you can't afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. It's strongly advised to speak with a lawyer about your case. Only a criminal lawyer will be able to represent you in court and work on your behalf to resolve your case efficiently.
A preliminary court hearing will be arranged in which the charges against you will be read. The reason for this is to make sure you understand what you're being accused of and what you're being charged with. A judge will then decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed to a criminal case. At this point you will be asked by the judge to enter your plea. Your can plea "not guilty", "no contest", or "guilty". Your lawyer will advise you as to your best way to respond depending on the evidence against you.
Note that even if you are guilty of the crime you can plea not guilty. A not guilty plea will lead to a trial to prove your innocence beyond a reasonable doubt and put the outcome in the hands of a jury. Your case may be brought in front of a grand jury depending on the severity and nature of the offense.
Your Legal Rights When Charged with a Crime
Just because you've been arrested and charged doesn't mean that all of your rights are negated. The U.S. Constitution was established to protect all citizens and applies to even a person charged with a crime. Remember, in the United States you are innocent until proven guilty.
You have the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately to ensure you get a fair and just trial. A jury will decide, based on the evidence, whether you're guilty or not guilty. In some cases you may waive your right to a trial. If you choose to do this, a judge will decide your guilt or innocence based on the evidence that is presented. Consult with your lawyer whether or not it makes sense to forgo a trial. Your lawyer will be able to advise you as to what option are in your best interests.
If the jury finds you not guilty, you will be released from custody and the charges will be automatically dropped. The arrest will be removed from your record. If you are found guilty the next step is the sentencing process. Any prior criminal history will be taken into consideration when a judge determines the appropriate sentence. At your sentence hearing, you may have the opportunity to address the court system if you so desire with any final remarks you want them to consider before the sentencing decision. The judge will carefully consider all of the evidence presented and sentencing requirements before handing down the decision.
If the crime was relatively minor, and you have no prior arrests, the time already served in jail may be sufficient enough to satisfy the court. You could be asked to pay a fine though. If the crime is serious, you will most likely face extended jail time, be ordered to pay hefty fines, give restitution to the victim, enter a substance abuse treatment, get treated for mental problems, do community service, or any other suitable punishment the judge deems necessary.
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