What to Do If a Federal Arrest Warrant Has Been Issued

When a federal law enforcement agency (e.g., FBI, DEA, ATF, etc.) believes they have sufficient evidence to suspect you have committed a crime of national interest, they present their case to a federal judge or magistrate. If the judge or magistrate confirms that federal authorities have gathered enough evidence to move the criminal case forward, he/she will issue a federal arrest warrant, which is generally executed by the U.S. Marshal. 

A federal arrest warrant must include the following information: 

  • The name of the defendant or his/her description if the person’s identity is not readily known 

  • The description of the federal criminal charge(s) the defendant faces 

  • A command that the defendant be arrested and brought before a judge or magistrate without unnecessary delay, or before a state or local judicial officer, if no judge or magistrate is readily available 

  • A signature from the presiding judge 

In most cases, you will learn that a federal warrant has been issued against you when a federal law enforcement official arrests you. On the other hand, you may learn about the warrant before getting arrested if a co-defendant is arrested or federal authorities visit your home while you were not on the premises. 

If you have not yet been arrested and you learn about a federal warrant issued against you, the first step to take is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled federal cases similar to yours. Although doing so may not dismiss the warrant, you will at least be prepared for the next steps ahead. 

Your lawyer can reach out to the U.S. Marshal’s office on your behalf and arrange a time and a place for your surrender. Additionally, your lawyer can also schedule a prompt initial appearance and even a detention hearing to argue for your release on bail. 

If you are facing federal charges in Boston, MA, contact Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 for a free initial consultation. Get a former federal prosecutor with more than 50 years of legal experience on your side! 

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