How Do I Handle a Warrant for My Arrest in Minnesota?

Warrants for an arrest can happen for a few reasons – missed court appearances, late or non-payments of fines, costs, or child support, and after being charged with a crime (a Ramsey County specialty). If this applies to you, the common question we get – and one we can absolutely answer and assist you in handling – is: how do I handle a warrant for my arrest in Minnesota?

The simple answer is you proactively deal with it. One way is to turn yourself in, but another way is to hire an attorney to try to quash the warrant and set a court date instead. No matter which way you choose, let’s go over the steps you should take if you are trying to handle a warrant for your arrest in Minnesota.

1. Is there a warrant for my arrest in Minnesota?

The first thing to do is to actually confirm there is a warrant. You can contact the local court administration in the county you believe a warrant exists to check on the status. Some sheriff departments may be able to access this information too. For example, both Hennepin and Ramsey County Sheriff departments do this. And even some counties and/or sheriff departments have online listings for active and pending warrants. Merely reaching out to one of these agencies will not result in you being arrested that moment.

2. Why it is important to handle a warrant for my arrest in Minnesota?

After confirming you have a warrant for your arrest, you will want to address it as soon as possible for a couple reasons. First, the warrant is not going anywhere simply because you don’t do anything. The warrant will exist and you are subject to arrest unless and until it is cleared. This means that a simple traffic stop on a Friday afternoon could turn into you being arrested and sitting in jail until Tuesday afternoon. Second, being proactive in handling the warrant will be looked upon favorably by a court at the next hearing. The sooner you handle it, the more likely the court will see that you are not as much of a flight and/or public safety risk, which can lead to less or no bail in order to secure your release from custody.

3. Consult with (and hire if you can) a private Minnesota criminal defense attorney?

Having a private Minnesota criminal defense attorney on your side can yield meaningful results at the very beginning of the criminal case. A savvy criminal defense attorney may be able to successfully move the court to quash the warrant – i.e. get rid of it – without requiring you to turn yourself in. In such an instance, a court hearing date will be scheduled and you’d be required to show up to court on time with your attorney by your side. Avoiding having to sit in custody at all can be a huge win to start the case.

Next, even if you must turn yourself in to handle the warrant, doing so with the advice and counsel of a Minnesota criminal defense attorney can assure you that you are doing so in a way that minimizes your time in custody and positions you best for the upcoming bail hearing. Each county is different, but there are ways to coordinate when you turn yourself in so that you will see a judge as soon as possible and not have to sit in custody for an extended period of time. At the same time, you can trust that your Minnesota criminal defense attorney is available and by your side at the bail hearing to make strong arguments that have been planned and strategized at the bail hearing. All of this can result in meaningful results at this early stage, such as low to no bail, less stringent conditional release terms, and immediate contact with the prosecution about your case by your defense team.

4. Consider advising your family, friends, and/or work in advance.

As part of any strategy with your Minnesota criminal defense attorney, you should consider who is advised of the warrant and how it may impact your personal and/or professional life. There is a chance that you could miss work as a result of having to turn yourself in. Scheduling and planning this can better ensure there is not an interruption caused in your professional life from having to handle the warrant. Similarly, consulting with family and/or friends can help ensure that you have the resources in place for any bail required and a network secured for support upon your release. All of these are important considerations at this time.

5. Turn yourself in.

If the warrant cannot be quashed, the only option is to turn yourself in. As previously mentioned, each county is different. So, understanding how your county handles warrants, bail calendar, and bail in general is smart to know ahead of time. That way you can have a strategy in place before turning yourself in. This will limit the time in custody, the amount of any bail imposed, and create a strong start to the overall criminal case.

If you are in the unfortunate position to have a warrant out for your arrest, these steps are the smart way to approach it. And instead of wondering, how do I handle a warrant for my arrest, without professional guidance, contact the North Star team. We are experienced, savvy, and have plenty of experience helping folks out who have been in your shoes.