Getting arrested is bad enough. A person charged with a crime faces significant consequences, including jail. Being ordered rearrested makes things even worse. A person charged with a crime, with limited exceptions, is required to appear in court. Failure to appear for a scheduled court date is actually another criminal offense. The failure to appear for a misdemeanor is another misdemeanor and the failure to appear for a felony is another felony. In many situations, a court could grant a continuance or issue a bail commissioner's letter if someone does not appear in court. A bail commissioner's letter is a notice that a court date was missed and a new date was scheduled and that failure to appear at the rescheduled date would likely trigger a rearrest.
When a person is ordered rearrested, the bond is called and forfeited and a warrant for the person's arrest ("rearrest") is issued from the bench (judge). A bond is also set. The warrant will then be entered into the PRAWN system which stands for Paperless Re-Arrest Warrant Network. Police have access to PRAWN and any encounter with law enforcement will likely lead to execution of that warrant. That in itself can cause problems if a person is caught in another jurisdicition and cannot post the bond.
So, what should a person do when informed of a rearrest warrant?
The best thing is to contact an attorney. If you are already represented by an attorney, contact him or her immediately. It may be possible to file a motion to vacate the rearrest warrant. That often requires your presence in court. The Court may vacate the warrant and the failure to appear charge, but it can increase your bond. Some courts will vacate rearrest warrants if an appearance is made within a short period of time.
How can you find out if you have a rearrest warrant in Connecticut?
The judicial website has a database of failure to appear and violation of probation warrants here. Note that the website does not display regular arrest warrants which have not yet been served.
What about an old warrant or if you are living outside the state?
Warrants do not usually just go away. It is not uncommon for rearrest cases to remain open for 10 or even 20 or more years. They could still lead to your arrest in another state and, even if Connecticut does not plan to extradite, an open case and warrant show up online on Connecticut's judicial website and will also show up in background checks, which can lead to problems with jobs, government programs and more. It is always best to clear it up and there are options. You should contact an attorney in Connecticut who can investigate, advise and represent you in the case. I am able to review the court file and take the appropriate measures so that your surrender and the case itself go smoothly.
I represent clients in rearrest, warrants and criminal matters throughout Connecticut including the courts of New Haven, Bridgeport, Milford, Derby, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, Stamford, Waterbury, Torrington, Hartford and Danbury and the cities of West Haven, Fairfield, Hamden, Norwalk, Stratford, Bristol, East Haven, Branford, Naugatuck and more. Use the contact box to send me a message or call me on the phone.