For the most part, residents of California enjoy significant quality of life due to the various freedoms and liberties they are entitled to; however, this is not the case when arrest warrants are issued.
Arrest warrants are issued for various purposes, but the common goal is to take an individual into custody. Warrants may be issued for misdemeanor offenses, felonies, probation violations, or failure to appear before a judge.
In addition to issuing instructions for law enforcement agents to carry out the detention of an individual, arrest warrants also result in a number of restrictions that limit freedom of movement and quality of life. Here are five of those restrictions:
1 – Travel Becomes Difficult
We live in a post-9/11 world, which means that we live in a world of increased vigilance and security protocols related to travel. Trying to board an airplane or a ship for the purpose of international travel will likely result in detention for passengers who have arrest warrants. The same goes for those who try to cross the border or go through a highway checkpoint established by state or federal law enforcement agents.
2 – License Suspension
Depending on the circumstances of the arrest warrant, the issuing court may attach instructions to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to immediately suspend the driver’s license of the defendant. In many cases, defendants are not timely notified of this suspension, and thus they end up getting arrested when they get pulled over for a suspected traffic violation. These suspensions are only lifted after the DMV is properly notified that the warrant has been cleared.
3 – Restrictions at Military Bases
Individuals who have an arrest warrant are not allowed to enter military bases, even if they are civilians already contracted to work on base. Depending on the security protocols of the military installation, security personnel may notify local law enforcement of the presence of individuals with arrest warrants, and this could be an embarrassing situation for those who want to visit friends or relatives who are in the Armed Forces.
4 – Suspension of Social Security Benefits
An individual with an arrest warrant for a felony or any other offense that merits time in prison may not receive Social Security benefits while the warrant is outstanding.
5 – Food Stamps are Canceled
The California Welfare and Institution Code clearly states that individuals who have arrest warrants for felonies are automatically disqualified from the food stamps program. The same goes for some aggravated misdemeanors that may result in a jail term.
In the end, arrest warrants sharply reduce quality of life by imposing restrictions such as those listed above. To this effect, it is better to consult a criminal defense attorney and determine a strategy to clear the warrant before it ends up in an arrest.
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