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Understanding Arrest Warrants in New Jersey


An arrest warrant can have wide-ranging and serious implications on one's life that can extend long into the future if not properly addressed. In New Jersey, there are many reasons why an arrest warrant may be issued and none should be taken lightly.
When an arrest warrant is filed, it orders the police to arrest the defendant and bring him to the court that has issued the warrant. When the defendant appears before the judicial officer, a Court Disposition Report (CDR-2 in the case of an arrest warrant) is filled out and either bail is set or there are conditions for the defendant's release pre-trial. After posting bail, the defendant is free to go until the time of trial. If no bail is allowed or posted, the defendant is held until a first appearance.

Why is an Arrest Warrant Issued in New Jersey?

Based on NJ Court Rule 7:2-2, an arrest warrant can be issued due to the following reasons:

  • Violation of parole
  • Probation violation
  • Bench Warrant—if the defendant fails to appear, fails to pay a fine or commits another act of non-compliance
  • Warrant Upon Filing of Criminal Complaint—In a criminal case, this has two forms. The first is the issuing of the complaint with no arrest. The second is a warrant complaint and requires the defendant's arrest. This requires that the court finds probable cause that there was a crime and the defendant was the one who committed the crime.
  • Warrant Upon Indictment—NJ Court Rule 3:7-8 states that an arrest warrant should be issued by the criminal defense manager when an accusation of an indictable offense has been filed. This holds true except when the defendant is under bail or the prosecutor decides to move forward via summons.

What is in the Warrant for Arrest?

The warrant for arrest, according to NJ Court Rule 7:2-1, must contain the following:

  • The defendant's name
  • The court the defendant will be brought to after the arrest
  • A signature of the court administrator or judge acknowledging the existence of probable cause
  • It may contain the amount or conditions of bail

When Will an Arrest Warrant be Issued Rather Than a Summons?

A summons differs from an arrest warrant since you will not be arrested but rather simply instructed to appear in court on your own accord. If the crime is deemed serious, including crimes that are in the first or second degree or crimes that involve possessing or using a firearm, it will result in an arrest warrant. Here are some specific charges that will likely result in an arrest warrant:

  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Arson or aggravated arson
  • Second degree aggravated assault
  • Sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated criminal sexual conduct, criminal sexual conduct
  • Manslaughter and aggravated manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping

If the complaint is for an indictable offense, all information including the complaint and investigative reports need to be forwarded to the criminal division manager's office and the county prosecutor within 48 hours. If the warrant is defective (a deficiency or a technical mistake exists) it doesn't guarantee the release of the defendant.

Contact an Experienced Attorney to Help with an Arrest Warrant

It is natural to be afraid and worried about what the future might hold if an arrest warrant has been issued in your name or the name of a loved one. No matter what, you deserve competent and qualified legal representation to avoid making a difficult situation worse. That's why you should contact the lawyers at Villani & DeLuca.
If you have had an arrest warrant issued in New Jersey, it's important that you know your rights. Villani & DeLuca attorneys located in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey have the experience and knowledge to assist you with the questions you have and actions you should take in handling the implications of an arrest warrant. The process of dealing with an arrest warrant can be complicated. From Ocean County to Monmouth County we can help you understand the arrest warrants process.

Contact Us Today

Villani & DeLuca, P.C. is committed to answering your questions about Divorce & Family Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and DWI & Traffic Law issues in New Jersey. We offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.