Arrest Warrants

When a person is accused of committing a crime, a judicial official in North Carolina may issue a warrant authorizing that alleged offender’s arrest so he or she can be held to answer to the charges made against him or her. Warrant information is typically shared by multiple law enforcement agencies as well as national databases.

Many people are unaware that warrants have been issued for their arrest, and many alleged offenders are taken into custody after applying for a passport or other encounters with the police such as traffic stops. When a person does know there is a warrant out for his or her arrest, it is unwise to think that the warrant will disappear with time as there is no statute of limitations on how long an alleged offender can remain a fugitive from justice.

Raleigh Lawyer for Help with Arrest Warrants

Has a warrant been issued for your arrest in North Carolina? Do not delay in seeking the help of experienced legal counsel for determining the most favorable resolution to your situation.

The Wake County criminal attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm provide assistance with arrest warrants for clients all over the Raleigh area, including Rolesville, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Zebulon, Wake Forest, Garner, Cary, Wendell, Holly Springs, Knightdale, and Apex. Call (919) 239-8448 to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation that will allow us to review your case and discuss all of your options.


Wake County Arrest Warrants Information Center


Arrest Warrant Process in North Carolina

North Carolina General Statute § 15A-304 states that a warrant for arrest may be issued when it appears that the alleged offender named should be taken into custody. The warrant must contain a statement of the crime of which the alleged offender to be arrested is accused.

A judicial official can only issue a warrant for arrest when he is supplied with sufficient information to make an independent judgment that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the alleged offender to be arrested committed it. While it is typically police officers or other law enforcement officials who provide this information to judicial officials, it should be noted that the statute does not specify sources and, thus, private citizens are theoretically capable of initiating arrest warrants.

The information must be shown by one or more of the following:

  • Affidavit;
  • Oral testimony under oath or affirmation before the issuing official; or
  • Oral testimony under oath or affirmation presented by a sworn law enforcement officer to the issuing official by means of an audio and video transmission in which both parties can see and hear each other.

 The judicial officials who are authorized to issue arrest warrants include:

  • North Carolina Supreme Court Justices;
  • Judges of the Court of Appeals, Superior Court, or District Court;
  • Clerks of Superior Court or assistant and deputy clerks of Superior Court; and
  • Magistrates.

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Types of Arrest Warrants in Raleigh

Several kinds of warrants authorizing a person’s arrest may be issued in North Carolina. Warrants issued at the request of law enforcement investigators generally do not have a unique title, but other situations leading to the issuance of warrants include:

  • Bench Warrants — When a person fails to appear for a court date, then a bench warrant may be issued for his or her arrest. Misdemeanor failure to appear is punishable by up to six months incarceration, and felony failure to appear is punishable by up to eight months in prison.
  • Governor’s Warrant — Also called an extradition warrant, this type of warrant of arrest is issued by the governor to either return a fugitive charged in North Carolina but arrested in another state or extradite a fugitive charged in another state but arrested in North Carolina.
  • Probation Violation Warrant — People may violate the terms of their probation in numerous ways, including absconding, failing a drug test, being arrested for another criminal offense, or missing a court date or an appointment with a probation officer. The probation officer can then petition to have the alleged offender’s probation revoked and this kind of warrant may be issued for his arrest.
  • Out of State Warrants — Authorities in North Carolina can arrest alleged offenders based on warrants issued in other states. This means that if an alleged offender had a bench warrant issued by a judge another state after failing to appear in court or pay a fine, the warrant may be visible to police in North Carolina through a national database and remains valid.

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How to Resolve Wake County Arrest Warrants

Again, warrants do not just go away. The only possible outcomes when a warrant has been issued for your arrest is that you will be taken into custody, the warrant will remain valid until you are arrested, or you will have to take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

With the help of a lawyer, you can review all of your possible options and determine the best way to handle your own unique situation. There are several alternatives to the humiliating experience of being placed under arrest in front of your friends or family during an unexpected encounter with police.

Your attorney may be able to help you negotiate the terms of your surrender. This can help get a bond amount reduced or possibly allow you to be released on your own recognizance without posting any monetary bond whatsoever.

Additionally, some alleged offenders may be able to challenge warrants that may have been improperly issued. For example, bench warrants may have been issued because a failure to appear that was the result of circumstances beyond the alleged offender’s control.


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North Carolina Resources for Arrest Warrants

Wake County Sheriff’s Office — This is the website of the primary law enforcement agency for the unincorporated areas of Wake County. You can learn more about the various divisions of this office, news releases, and answers to frequently asked questions. There are also links to the larger county government website, which includes Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI) Criminal Arrest Records Portal.

330 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27602
(919) 856-6900

North Carolina General Statute § 15A-304 — This is the full text of the state law regarding warrants for arrest. Sections cover definitions, when warrants can be issued, statement of the crime, showing of probable cause, order for arrest, and who may issue warrants.


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Find the Best Lawyer for Arrest Warrant Issues in Raleigh

If you believe or know for certain that a warrant has been issued in North Carolina for your arrest, do not think that you can avoid police officers for the rest of your life. Your past will catch up with you sooner or later, and it is in your best interest to address the situation right now while you can exercise some measure of control.

Coolidge Law Firm helps clients all over the Raliegh area achieve favorable outcomes to these situations, including students at local institutions like Meredith College, Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Shaw University, Duke University, William Peace University, and North Carolina State University. You can have our Wake County criminal defense attorneys review your case and discuss your legal options by calling (919) 239-8448 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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