A Warrant is a legal document authorizing that a government agent can carry out a certain action. The most common types of warrants are search warrants and arrest warrants. Both must usually be issued by a judge and will permit police officers to search a location or arrest an individual. The primary pre-requisite to the issuance of a warrant is that there exists probable cause that there has been a violation of the law.
In terms of arrest warrants, warrants for failure to appear are the most common type. When you get a traffic citation, and when you do not appear in your court date, a few different things happen. For one, you are usually issued another citation for failure to appear and a warrant for your arrest is made active. More tangibly, a failure to appear will usually result in a “hold” being placed on your driver’s license, which will necessitate a certificate of compliance to release.
Most concerning, however, is that the warrant permits a police officer to arrest an individual on site and take him or her into custody to be held on bond. There is no uniform method to having a warrant for your arrest recalled or retracted. The procedures differ from municipality-to-municipality and county-to-county. What is uniform, though, is that it will almost always take an attorney entering on your behalf to have the warrant recalled. Given the adverse consequences of having an active warrant, particularly when it comes to background checks relating to employment, it is important to have all outstanding warrants addressed before handling the underlying citation.