Private warrants in North Carolina – Private Warrant Court
Typically, people are arrested with a warrant that has been issued by a judge or magistrate. The warrant is issued based on information received by a government official such as a police officer. However, there is such thing as private warrants for misdemeanors. These warrants, and subsequently the charges that come with them, have the same legal affect as any other charged crime In North Carolina. If you were charged with a crime stemming from a private warrant, you should contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
How a private warrant is obtained
- North Carolina General Statute 15a-304 provides for the possibly of private warrants, since it states that judicial officials (which in most cases is the magistrate) may issue an arrest warrant if they are provided “with sufficient information, based on oath or affirmation, to make an independent judgment that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it.” This does not limit the source of the information with regards to who is bringing the allegations.
Common charges in private warrant court – Typically private warrant court involves a dispute between two people that know each other, such as neighbors or former friends. Therefore, common charges tend to include but are not limited to:
- Injury to personal property
- Communicating threats
Private Warrant Court procedures in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
- In Mecklenburg County, private warrant court is usually schedule in Courtroom 4330 on specific Mondays. There, the docket is called the same as any other misdemeanor criminal courtroom, however there are mediators that are available for the parties to try and resolve their differences. The mediation process Is voluntary and therefore not required, and is not possible if either one of the parties’ refuses.
- If the parties and the mediator are able to resolve the differences, there is typically a dismissal and a fee paid by the defendant for the mediator’s services.
- All of the same rules of criminal court apply; for example, if the defendant does not show up to court, an order for his or her arrest (OFA) will be issued.
- If the parties cannot resolve their issues, the crimes alleged will follow the same process as they would have for any other criminal charges. This includes punishment if convicted, according to the North Carolina misdemeanor sentencing guidelines.
If someone has taken a private warrant out on you, it would be in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney about representation. At Gilles Law we handle these, and a variety of other criminal cases, call us and we would be happy to help.