Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney with over 25 Years of Experience Resolving Warrants


There are three types of warrants that can be issued by a judge: arrest warrants, search warrants, and bench warrants. Warrants carry the force of law, and you must comply with them. Failure to comply can result in additional criminal charges, extended penalties or the prosecutor’s refusal to negotiate with your criminal defense attorney regarding diversion, plea offers or allocution. If you become aware of a warrant that has been issued in your name, you need to immediately seek the guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. A criminal defense attorney can advise you on what the warrant means, how to comply with it, and any potential defenses to the warrant. And as always, NEVER make any statements to a detective or anyone else without an experienced criminal attorney present.

The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg has handled thousands of warrants for its clients. Whether you have an outstanding warrant or a warrant has already been executed and you are unsure of how to proceed, our attorneys can counsel you on how to defend against the warrant. With over 25 years of experience litigating for clients such as yourself, David L. Freidberg understands how the criminal system works and is prepared to provide you with personalized yet aggressive criminal defense in the Chicago metropolitan area. With offices in Chicago, Skokie, and DuPage, The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg represents clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies in the Circuit Court of Cook and DuPage Counties. We are available 24/7 to consult with you on your warrant. To schedule a free case review, contact The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 or (800) 803-1442.

Arrest Warrant

While many individuals are arrested at the scene of the incident, most cases, especially those involving felony charges, are the product of lengthy investigations. An investigation begins with a crime. Either the victim or a witness will report the crime to the police or a police officer will become aware of a criminal enterprise through the normal course of duty. If the police do not have probable cause when the complaint is made, the police will further investigate. Likewise, if the police do not know the identity of the perpetrator, the police will further investigate.

When the officer conducting the investigation has probable cause to believe that a particular individual committed the offense, the officer must obtain an arrest warrant from a judge. Probable cause occurs when the facts gathered through the investigation would cause a reasonable person to believe that a specific person has committed an offense.

When the police officer has probable cause, he or she will fill out a special form known as an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant. This affidavit will typically include the defendant’s name, sex, race, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, hair color, complexion, any identifying features such as tattoos, home or business address, and telephone number(s). The affidavit will also include the requesting officer’s name, precinct address, and telephone number, as well as the date and time of the offense. The officer will then include a brief description of the incident and subsequent investigation, as well as any evidence gathered that would support a probable cause finding. The officer is known as the affiant, and the officer will sign the form.

The form will then be presented to a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge will review the form and description and may ask the officer for more clarification. If the magistrate judge finds there is probable cause based on the facts alleged in the affidavit, the judge will then sign the warrant. The affidavit then becomes the arrest warrant. If the magistrate judge refuses to sign the affidavit, the police do not have authority to arrest their suspect.

When the arrest warrant is signed, the police will then begin to attempt to locate the suspect, usually at their home, school, place of business or known hang-out spots. When the police find their suspect, the warrant will be executed, and the police will place the suspect under arrest.

If you are aware that there is a warrant out for your arrest, you should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney. While you should not avoid the warrant forever, having a criminal defense attorney on your speed dial will enable you to immediately contact that attorney if and when the arrest warrant is executed. If an officer approaches you to arrest you under the authority of the arrest warrant, be compliant. Do not resist. Resisting an officer can result in additional charges.

Search Warrant

A search warrant permits the police to search a place or item that is owned or inhabited by you, usually your residence. While a search warrant is focused on inanimate objects or places, it may lead to probable cause to arrest you for a crime. In order to obtain a search warrant, the police generally first conduct an investigation. Similar to the arrest warrant, the investigation will be launched after either a complaint is made or the police become aware of a criminal enterprise. After gathering enough facts to generate probable cause, the police will request a search warrant from a judge. A request for search warrant will be made only when the police have reason to believe that specific contraband will be found inside a storage compartment, car or building that you have dominion and control over.

Similar to the arrest warrant, the search warrant form requires the requesting officer to write an affidavit that describes with some particularity what he or she expects to find and why. The affidavit must state facts and other circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that illegal contraband will be found. The search warrant affidavit will include information about the place to be searched, such as whether it is a location, vehicle or object. The affidavit will also include the officer’s information, such as name, badge number, and precinct. The officer will present the affidavit to a neutral magistrate judge. If the magistrate judge believes there is probable cause, the judge will sign the warrant. The warrant may include restrictions or limitations on its execution. For instance, the warrant can restrict the search to only daytime hours or may restrict the length of time the police have to execute the warrant.

After the warrant has been signed, the police then have the authority to search the premises. The police must first knock and announce themselves. After waiting a reasonable amount of time, they may then break down the door and enter if you do not let them in. Any illegal contraband inside can thereafter be confiscated and used as the basis for any charges against you. Because you are the owner of the place, car or object, you will be the first and main suspect.

There are ways to combat the ill effects of an executed search that turns up illegal contraband. One common and sometimes successful method is to challenge the probable cause basis for the warrant. Another method is to argue that the police did not follow proper protocol when executing the search warrant, such as failing to knock and announce or entering the home after the warrant had expired. If you win either of these arguments, the illegal contraband may be excluded as evidence or you may have your case dismissed.

Bench Warrant

A bench warrant is a warrant that is issued by a judge when you fail to appear for court. When you are charged with an offense, you will be arraigned in Circuit Court in the county in which you were arrested. If the arraignment judge decides to release you on personal recognizance or on a cash bond, you will be ordered to sign notice to return for your next court date. This signed notice acts as a binding agreement between you and the court that you will appear for your next hearing. If you fail to appear, the judge can issue a bench warrant.

The bench warrant will state the issuing judge’s name, the date on which you failed to appear, and the courtroom number. The bench warrant will also state whether you are to be released when the bench warrant is executed. The bench warrant is executed with the police serve the warrant on you. Rarely, the bench warrant will simply require execution of the warrant and that the police deliver notice of your next date. More often, the bench warrant will state that you are to be held on either no bond or a cash bond. No bond means that you cannot be released until the issuing judge decides to change your bond status to released. Cash bond means you can only be released if you pay the cash bond amount listed on the bench warrant.

When the bench warrant is executed, you will be taken to the jail. A bench warrant return hearing will be held shortly thereafter before the issuing judge. At this hearing, your defense attorney will argue for your release, commonly referred to as a bond hearing. The judge may release you, release you on revised conditions or order that you remain held in custody without bail.

If you have an outstanding bench warrant, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. This attorney can assist you in contacting the judge to request that the warrant be quashed so that you will not be picked up by the police and held at the jail.

Aggressive Warrant Defense Attorney with Offices in Chicago, Skokie, and DuPage

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony or if you believe that you have an outstanding warrant, it is imperative that you contact The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg immediately. David L. Freidberg can assist you with fighting a warrant, including quashing a warrant, arguing for your release, disputing the probable cause basis for the warrant or advocating for suppression of evidence found during a search. Contact The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg at (312) 560-7100 or toll free at (800) 803-1442 to discuss your case for free now. Because of the severity of the consequences of a warrant, we are available 24/7 for your convenience.

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