Warrants in Columbus, Ohio

Under Ohio Crim. Rule 4, a complaint includes an affidavit showing probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed. The complaint must also sets forth facts to show that the defendant was the person who committed the crime.

If the judge receives such a complaint from law enforcement, the judge will either issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant or issue a summons in lieu of a warrant. A magistrate, officer of the court or clerk of court can also issue a warrant or summons in certain circumstances. The warrant or summons authorizes any law enforcement officer to execute or serve the warrant or summons.

Our attorneys receive calls from men and women worried about an outstanding arrest warrant, bench warrant, summons, or failure to appear in court. The criminal defense attorneys at the Joslyn Law Firm represent clients with outstanding felony or misdemeanor warrants. We are also experienced in representing clients that live out of county or out of state who are facing extradition back to Columbus or Franklin County, OH.

Call us to find out the best way to resolve an active warrant or resolve a case after a missed court date.


Finding Probable Cause for the Warrant

In some cases, the facts supporting probable cause will contain hearsay. Those hearsay statements support a finding of probable cause only if there is a substantial basis for "believing the source of the hearsay to be credible and for believing that there is a factual basis for the information furnished."

In some cases, before the court decides whether to issue the warrant or summons, the court may require the person making the complaint to appear personally and answer questions while under oath. If the court reporter or recording equipment preserved the testimony, then it shall be admissible at a hearing on a motion to suppress.


Summons in Lieu of Warrant

The court can issue a summons instead of a warrant under the following circumstances:

  • Upon the request of the prosecuting attorney; or
  • When issuance of a summons appears reasonably calculated to ensure the defendant's appearance.

In certain types of misdemeanor cases, a warrant might be issued to a law enforcement officer. However, in those cases, the office may issue a summons in lieu of executing the warrant by arrest under the following conditions:

  • The issuing authority did not include a prohibition against issuing a summons in lieu of warrant provision in the warrant;
  • When issuance of a summons appears reasonably calculated to ensure the defendant's appearance.

When issuing the summons, the officer must note that the warrant and the return of the warrant were executed by issuing a summons. The summons must note the time and place the defendant must appear.


Failure to Appear in Court in Columbus, Ohio

In misdemeanor cases, if the officer issues a summons in lieu of making an arrest and the defendant fails to appear in response to the summons, then the court can issue an arrest warrant. Many people hide after the missed court date because they are worried about the failure-to-appear warrant issued by a Franklin County judge.

The best thing you can do to resolve your case is seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus, OH, who can explain the best ways to resolve the outstanding warrant issued by a judge in Franklin County or the surrounding areas.

In most cases, the warrant will contain the following information:

  • Name of the defendant;
  • Description of the offense charged in the complaint;
  • Whether the warrant is being issued before the defendant has appeared or was scheduled to appear, and
  • The numerical designation of the applicable statute or ordinance.

A copy of the complaint shall be attached to the warrant. After a defendant fails to appear, the court will issue a warrant that includes the following requirements:

  • The defendant must post a sum of cash or secured bail bond with the condition that the defendant appear before the issuing court at a time and date certain; and
  • The defendant must be held without bail until brought before the issuing court without unnecessary delay.


What Information is Contained in the Warrant?

The summons is similar to the warrant except that it does not authorize an arrest. Instead, it orders the person accused to appear at a stated time and place. The summons also informs the defendant that he or she may be arrested if he or she fails to appear at the time and place stated in the summons.

The court issuing the warrant must indicate whether the warrant is being issued in advance of an initial or scheduled bail hearing. If so, then the bail provisions of Crim. R. 46 will govern the setting of bail.

If the warrant is issued after a failure to appear in court, then the court that issues the warrant should indicate in the warrant the amount of bail required and when the defendant is to appear in court.


Procedure in Minor Misdemeanor Cases under Ohio Crim R 4.1

Under Ohio Crim Rule 4.1(f), when a defendant fails to appear in court on a minor misdemeanor case, the court may issue a supplemental citation, or a summons or warrant under Rule 4. Since January 1, 2004, the term "minor misdemeanor" is defined as a criminal offense with a maximum penalty of $100 to $150.


Procedures for Warrants Issued Upon Indictment or Information in Ohio

Crim. Rule 9 provides for the procedures for a warrant or summons issued upon indictment or information.

When requested by the prosecutor, the clerk will issue a warrant for each defendant named in the indictment or in the information. In some cases, the clerk will issue a summons instead of a warrant. The summons will be issued upon request of the court or prosecutor or when the accused is indicted for the same offense for which he was bound over.

If a summons is issued and the accused person fails to appear in court in Columbus, OH, or the areas surrounding Franklin County, then the court will issue a warrant.

The warrant will order the defendant to be arrested and brought before the court that issued the warrant without unnecessary delay. It is signed by the court or clerk and describes the offense charged in the indictment or information. A copy of the indictment or information must be attached to the warrant.

A summons orders the defendant to appear before the court at a stated time and place. The summons will also provide that the defendant may be arrested if he fails to appear at the time and place stated in the summons. A copy of the indictment or information shall be attached to the summons.

Finding an Attorney for a Warrant in Columbus, Ohio

If you have an outstanding arrest warrant or bench warrant issued by a Judge in Columbus, Ohio, or the surrounding areas of Franklin County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Joslyn Law Firm. Whether you just found out that the warrant was issued, you were served with a summons, or you missed a court date, we can help you fight for the best result.

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your criminal charges in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, and Fairfield County in Ohio.

Let us put our experience to work for you.

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