What does it mean to have a warrant out for my arrest in Virginia?
Thomas Soldan: Having a warrant out for your arrest is the first step in the criminal process, meaning the case is going to go to court. A warrant means that a judge, a prosecutor, a police officer, or a civilian witness has executed an affidavit affidavit attesting to certain facts. A magistrate judge has then reviewed that affidavit (also called a criminal complaint) and determined there is probable cause that the person named committed the offense. A warrant of arrest is then issued. Any active warrant means that the named person could potentially be arrested at any time through any encounter with law enforcement. Depending on the severity of the case, that warrant could result in being detained or it could simply result in being served with the warrant, and thus notice of the court date.