In certain circumstances in Oakland County drinking and driving cases, a warrant for arrest is issued against the defendant. This generally happens when the case isn't immediately charged, many times in situations with more serious OWI charges. A warrant for arrest means that the police have given the reports to the prosecutor and the prosecutor files a complaint with the court. As part of the complaint, the court will sign a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. At that point, the officers can go out and arrest the person, or if that person is pulled over or runs into officers in any other way, they can be arrested.
A question that we get all of the time is whether the court or cops will let the person know that they have a warrant for their arrest. The short answer to this is generally no. Most courts will not send any paperwork out until the defendant has been arraigned. As far as the police go, sometimes officers are decent and will notify the defendant that a warrant for arrest has been entered, although they are under no duty to do so. Most of the time, the cops don't do anything and it is left up to the defendant to figure everything out on their own.
What we do as drunk driving lawyers in Oakland County is to call the arresting agency up and let them know we are representing the defendant. We request that the officer in charge of the case let us know when the charges are entered. In addition to that, we contact the court and file all of our paperwork. We then call every other day until they either call us or we find out that a warrant has been issued.
Once we discover an arrest warrant has been signed, we call the client up and plan a time to turn themselves in. For the most part, the District Courts in Oakland County allow us to accomplish this simply by going to the court and appearing before a magistrate. The arraignment is generally an easy process and we're out of there quickly. On the other hand, courts like the Pontiac District Court require specific times and sometimes request that the arraignment process is done through the Sheriff's Department.