The only way to clear a warrant in Massachusetts is for the warrant to be executed by law enforcement in the manner that it is specified in the document.
If a person has a warrant out for their arrest the police can arrest them and take them to jail at any time.
Some reasons why a person could have a warrant are:
- Probable cause implicates them in a crime
- The named person failed to satisfy a court order
- An eyewitness reported the named person committing a crime
In the event of an active arrest warrant or a bench warrant, the police will most likely detain the person and bring them to jail so that they can be processed and brought in front of a judge. Depending on the circumstances that surround the warrant the law enforcement officers that execute it will handle it in various ways.
In the event of an arrest warrant, the police can show up and make an arrest at the person’s home, at their work, or even at their school.
If you believe that you or somebody that you know has a warrant, we recommend that you do a Massachusetts warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.
Active Warrants in Massachusetts
If a person is aware that they have an active warrant against them in the state of Massachusetts they have the option to contact an attorney to help advise them of what they should do to deal with the issue. In some cases, a defense lawyer will be able to communicate with the courthouse and negotiate a plan for the person to appear before the judge.
An active warrant means that the orders that have been written out within the document have yet to be executed. Since each warrant will have its own properties the method of execution could be different for every person.
Some ways that you could know whether or not you have an active warrant against you are:
- Contact the courthouse
- Walk into the police station
- Do an online warrant search
When a judge issues a warrant they are not required to inform the defendant. Many people are not even aware that they have warrants out for them until they are pulled over by the police for a traffic stop, or come into contact with law enforcement for any other reason.
Types of Warrants in Massachusetts
In the state of Massachusetts, the court system puts arrest warrants into two categories:
- Default warrants
- Straight warrants
However, there are three basic types of warrants that other warrants stem from:
- Bench warrants
- Arrest warrants
- Search warrants
Default warrants and straight warrants are essentially bench warrants and arrest warrants. Massachusetts refers to default warrants in the event that a person fails to comply with a court order, much like a bench warrant. Straight warrants are the same as arrest warrants which we will explain later.
Another type of warrant that is issued in MA is a search warrant, which allows police to search the person and the property of the individual named in the warrant.
Warrant Records Search
Default Warrants in Massachusetts
A default warrant is virtually the same as a bench warrant. A judge or magistrate will issue this type of warrant directly from the courtroom’s bench. When a warrant is issued in this manner, it is commonly because the defendant failed to show up for a court date.
Other reasons for this type of warrant to be issued are:
- Failure to pay a fine on time
- Failure to show up for jury duty
- Failure to report to a jail sentence
A person with a bench warrant, or default warrant, against them, is subject to be arrested and taken to jail at any time. Depending on the severity of the situation the police have the option to aggressively seek the individual or passively wait for them to be discovered in some type of police contact such as a traffic stop.
Although police have the authority to arrest and incarcerate the subject of the warrant, in many cases law enforcement can direct the defendant to appear in court on a specified date without the use of restraints.
Straight Warrants in Massachusetts
A straight warrant in Massachusetts is basically the same as an arrest warrant. The main difference between a bench warrant and an arrest warrant is that when an arrest warrant is issued it is because a person is being charged with a crime that will start a new court proceeding.
Arrest warrants will be issued against a person in the event that:
- Police find evidence linking the defendant to the crime
- An eyewitness coming forward with a statement
- The person has been indicted
In most cases when an arrest warrant is issued it is because the district attorney has officially filed charges against the defendant and wants to bring them into the court of law to face their fate.
A great example of when an arrest warrant would be issued is if a person sitting at home witnessed a burglar break into a home across the street from them. If the witness was able to get a picture or some sort of identifiable evidence that would implicate the person it would be great.
If the police showed up at the scene and the burglar had already left they would be able to approach a judge and request an arrest warrant if they could identify the defendant.
In any case, once an arrest warrant is issued the police can take immediate action and pursue the defendant to the point of kicking in doors and swarming homes.
Search Warrants in Massachusetts
Since the police do not have the authority to search people or their property unless they have a specific reason that they can legally justify they must first either get permission from the defendant, or request a search warrant.
The Fourth Amendment is in place so that regular people do not have to endure aggressive or unreasonalbe searches and seizures by law enforcement officers. Although the amendment is a way to protect the privacy of citizens, the police have the responsibility to judge whether or not the situation is a threat to the safety of the community.
Police can conduct searches without a warrant if:
- They have permission from the person they are searching
- They have probable cause to conduct the search
For example, if the police chase a drug dealer down the street and the person goes into a home the law enforcement officers that are involved in the chase have the option to search the home where the suspect hid without a warrant - especially if the residents refuse to allow entrance.
When a judge signs a search warrant into issuance law enforcement have full permission to conduct a search of the person named in the warrant according to the instructions in the document.
If the police do not adhere to the instructions within the warrant they will risk losing all of the evidence that they find.
In most circumstances, the judge will have enough probable cause to justify a search warrant from the agency that requests it.
Finding Warrants in Massachusetts
The best way to find out if you or somebody that you know has warrants out for them is to do an online warrant search as often as possible. It is much easier to handle the warrant if you know that it exists in the first place, and you have an opportunity to fight it outside of the walls of a jail.
***Regardless of which state you live in it is always wise to contact an attorney for any questions that you may have when it comes to warrant laws or any other legal concerns. The content found on this website is only for informational purposes and is not to be mistaken for legal advice.