DSO Offering to Help Community Members with Warrants

Submitted by Defense Services Office

Gila River Indian Community


You don’t want to have a warrant. A warrant gives the authorization for a police officer to arrest you. So if you come in contact with a police officer, the officer will undoubtedly check your record for any warrants. Police contact could be something as minor as a traffic stop. And if the officer finds that you have a warrant, you most likely will be arrested. That means spending at least one night in jail. 


If it is a warrant out of Gila River Court, then the judge will decide whether you should stay in jail or be released. Depending on the nature of the offense, a high bond could be issued against you.


If the warrant is from an outside jurisdiction, you could be held at DRS for up to 72 hours for the outside jurisdiction police authorities to come take you from the Community to address your warrant somewhere else. 


Sometimes the outside jurisdiction does not come to get you. Then you would be released, but the warrant is still active and you would be arrested by Gila River police if you come in contact with an officer again.


All this is especially challenging if you don’t know that you have a warrant against you or if this is for an old matter. “I haven’t thought about that case in years,” You say. It doesn’t matter. For example, a person here in the Community was once arrested on a 2002 traffic warrant. 


Then there are times when a person has a warrant and he or she never knew there was a summons for him or her to appear before the Court. The summons could have been sent to an incorrect address.


If you suspect that you may have a warrant, you are welcome to call the Gila River Indian Community Court at (520) 562-9860 to confirm if you have one or not. 


If it turns out that you do have a warrant out of the Gila River Community Court, there are some options to address your warrant status:

Turn yourself into Department of Rehabilitative Services or a police officer voluntarily. You will be officially booked into DRS to await for your chance to see a judge the next day at an Initial Hearing, which is usually scheduled at 11:00 a.m.


Another option is to contact the Gila River Indian Community Defense Services Office (“DSO”) at (520) 562-5700 or at claude.jackson@gric.nsn.us to see what can be done to address your warrant. 


DSO may be able to assist you in filing a Motion to Quash your bench warrant. If the judge accepts your motion and quashes your bench warrant, then the judge will schedule a hearing date for you to appear. You better show up this time.


If you have a warrant from an outside jurisdiction, the best action to take is to contact the outside jurisdiction directly.