Can I Get Arrested on a Warrant in Pennsylvania During COVID-19?
While a worldwide pandemic challenges the nation, police departments across Pennsylvania have instituted procedures to help keep law enforcement officers and the community as safe as possible. Courts have shut down or restricted access, while police departments have increased online communication to deal with non-priority issues. That does not mean there has been a moratorium on arrests; if you have an outstanding arrest warrant during COVID-19, you need the services of our experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys.
At Young, Marr & Associates, our dedicated lawyers have over two decades of experience representing Pennsylvanians facing criminal charges. Call us immediately at (215) 372-8667 to schedule a free, confidential consultation or retain our services if necessary.
Arrest Warrants in Pennsylvania During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Pennsylvanians are granted certain protections under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. For an arrest warrant to be legally valid, it must contain specific information. The warrant must include a description that accurately identifies the subject of the warrant. Additionally, sufficient evidence of probable cause for the arrest is necessary. And finally, the warrant must have a judge’s signature to be legally enforceable.
Arrest warrants are issued for a variety of criminal activities, including misdemeanors and felonies. Additionally, in Pennsylvania, warrants are issued for unpaid traffic fines and delinquent child support. Furthermore, an outstanding bench warrant could exist if you failed to appear at a court hearing or ignored a court order. Often, an outstanding warrant can exist without a person’s knowledge.
Police can arrest you anywhere if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest. However, as the state is under a “stay at home” order, it is likely the police know, or at least suspect, that you are at home. If you are aware of an outstanding warrant, call our offices immediately, so you are not taken by surprise.
What to Do If the Police Show Up at Your Door with a Warrant in Pennsylvania While You are Complying with the “Stay Home” COVID-19 Directive
If the police show up at your home with an arrest warrant, it is critical to have the assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney on your side. Without a criminal defense lawyer present, you might give the police a statement or evidence that could later harm your case. Be advised that you have a constitutional right to stay silent, avoid answering any questions, and refrain from providing any information. A police officer must inform you of your rights and give you a Miranda warning. The only request you should make is to speak with your Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney.
A police officer must produce the relevant arrest warrant or search warrant upon request. If they are unable to show you a warrant, you are not required to allow them to enter your home. If the police do have an arrest warrant, we advise that you have an experienced attorney on the phone during your encounter with law enforcement. With our help, you could avoid a statement that could potentially hurt you later and maybe even prevent an unlawful search.
If you have been arrested, it is critical to limit communication between yourself and the police. One advantage of retaining an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney is that they can safeguard your right to remain silent without an attorney present. We also have access to vital information the police have related to their investigation and the case against you.
Furthermore, once you have proper representation, there should be no more surprise visits to your home while you are complying with the COVID-19 “stay home” recommedation. At Young, Marr & Associates, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients.
What If the Police Do Not Have a Warrant in Pennsylvania During the Coronavirus Shut-Down?
Even during the statewide shut down due to the coronavirus, the police need an arrest warrant or search warrant to enter your home; without one, you are under no obligation to allow them to enter. In fact, you have a constitutional right not to let them into your house without the proper authorization. However, if the police are there, you are likely under investigation or are being sought in connection with another matter. In this situation, you should immediately call Young, Marr & Associates for help determining why the police are interested in you.
COVID-19 and the Pennsylvania Court System
While police across the state have altered their procedures and instituted protocols to protect themselves and Pennsylvania residents during the coronavirus, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has closed all state courts to the public until at least April 30, subject to some specific exceptions and directives. County and district courts might have additional restrictions, such as telephonic hearings or mandatory continuances. This is a fluid situation, and the procedures the courts are putting into place are subject to change.
Call Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys If You Have an Outstanding Arrest Warrant During COVID-19
The moment the police arrive at your door with an arrest warrant is not the time to begin handling legal issues by yourself. Only the police have the information related to a criminal case or pending investigation against you. They are there to arrest you, not protect you. While you should cooperate, you also need to know your rights. Call our Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys immediately if you have an outstanding arrest warrant or if the police are at your door during COVID-19. Contact Young, Marr & Associates today at (215) 372-8667 to ensure that your rights are fully protected.