Gavel With a Pair of HandcuffsA capias warrant is a warrant for your arrest issued by a judge. In Virginia, capias warrants are most often issued by judges against criminal defendants or witnesses who fail to appear in court as scheduled.

What Happens After a Capias Warrant Is Issued

A capias warrant orders the sheriff to find you, arrest you, and bring you before the judge who issued the warrant.

If you know or suspect that there is a capias warrant against you, then you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You might be charged with a misdemeanor if you failed to appear in a misdemeanor case or a felony if you failed to appear in a felony case. Either way, you could face additional jail time and fines that go beyond the penalties for the underlying crime.

Now Is the Time to Defend Yourself

Not all capias warrants result in misdemeanor or felony sentences. However, you will have to explain what happened to the judge to avoid harsh penalties. Some possible defenses in capias warrant cases include that you didn’t appear in court as scheduled because:

  • You never received proper notice from the court
  • The court paperwork had a mistake on it, such as the wrong date, time, or place for you to appear

A criminal defense lawyer can often prevent problems that result in capias warrants. A lawyer could, for example, change the date of a court hearing for a good reason or make sure that you know where and when to be so you don’t miss anything.

While it’s too late to go back and prevent the capias warrant from being issued, it is not too late to work with a criminal defense lawyer. Our experienced Fairfax criminal defense law firm can review your capias warrant and the misdemeanor or felony charges that required you to go to court in the first place.

Call us today to schedule an initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney.