Wanted | What are the consequences of being wanted?

On the bustling streets, Xiao Ming inadvertently caught sight of a wanted poster in the newspaper, which, to his astonishment, bore his own name and photo. This sudden warrant, like a bolt from the blue, transformed him from an ordinary citizen into a fugitive of the law overnight. For a moment, Xiao Ming couldn't comprehend when he had become a wanted criminal, but one thing was certain: this warrant had to be revoked; otherwise, his daily life would be forever shackled by this invisible burden. What exactly does being wanted entail? And what are the consequences of being wanted?

The consequences of being wanted.

After a defendant is wanted, all judicial police officers, prosecutors, and interested parties can legally arrest the person directly. However, it's important to remember that a warrant is issued because the defendant could not be found after multiple legal summonses. It is a method used to track down and arrest the defendant and does not necessarily mean that the individual is guilty, will be prosecuted, or needs to be imprisoned.


Summons and Warrants

The function of a summons.

Many parties panic when they receive a summons, often asking, "Lawyer! I've received a summons! What should I do? Am I being sued? Will I be arrested?" According to Article 71 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: "The summons of a defendant shall be done by a summons." During the investigation and trial processes, judges and prosecutors may need to summon the defendant, complainants, witnesses, etc., to court for testimony, and this is done through a written notice, which is the summons. Simply put, a summons is a written notice informing you of the time and place you need to appear in court to give a statement. Just be on time for court, and there's no need for excessive worry! But remember, if you cannot attend at the specified time on the summons, or if there are any last-minute issues, you must contact the handling officers to avoid the risk of being detained or wanted later on. It's also advisable to consult or be accompanied by a lawyer specializing in criminal cases before appearing in court to fully protect your rights.

The Function of a Warrant

A warrant is a legal document issued by a court or the prosecutor's office for the detention of a defendant to appear in court, serving as the basis for the judicial police to execute the detention. According to Article 77 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: "Detention of the defendant shall be done by a warrant." Generally speaking, if the defendant, after being legally summoned, fails to appear without cause, they may be detained to ensure the smooth progress of the criminal proceedings.


What to do if you accidentally discover you are wanted? How to revoke a warrant?

When you find out that you are wanted, you can contact the handling agency or the clerk to turn yourself in. However, if you have concerns, it is recommended to be accompanied by a lawyer. This ensures more comprehensive and substantial protection, especially in light of whether the prosecutor is considering detention or other aspects of the case.


Common Questions About Being Wanted

What to do if you're abroad and your family receives a summons at home?

If you receive a summons and do not appear in court on time, after a few instances, you may be detained or even wanted. But what if you're abroad? There's no need to panic excessively; the summons includes the phone extension of the case handling clerk. Just have family or friends in the country call to explain the situation with the assistance of a lawyer. Court dates can usually be postponed or handled depending on the court or prosecutor's office's discussions.

What is the success rate of revoking a warrant?

The success rate of revoking a warrant depends on the specific circumstances of the case and requires individual assessment. If you can provide strong evidence and reasonable reasons, the chances of successful revocation naturally increase. In addition, an experienced lawyer plays a key role in this process, effectively guiding the case towards a favorable outcome. Moreover, following the correct legal procedures is also an important factor that cannot be overlooked when revoking a warrant. Therefore, although it is impossible to guarantee and give a specific success rate, using the appropriate legal channels can indeed increase the chances of revoking a warrant.

How to check if you or someone else is wanted?

To inquire about a warrant, you can visit the "National Police Agency Fugitive Information Inquiry (Announcement) Platform" of the Ministry of the Interior, which categorizes fugitives into general criminal fugitives (without photos), fugitives abroad (with photos), important and urgent fugitives (with photos), and major necessary fugitives (with photos).
The published case information and photo range are as follows:
General criminal fugitives: 1. All fugitives wanted by various prosecutorial offices and courts. 2. Fugitive information issued by prosecutorial offices is provided by the Ministry of Justice.
Fugitives abroad (with photos): For the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice investigating suspects fleeing abroad due to corruption, economic crimes, drugs, firearms, organized crime, money laundering, and other serious criminal cases, and according to the bureau's relevant pursuit regulations.
Important and urgent fugitives (with photos): For fugitives who meet the reporting scope of the "Police Agency Crime and Major Case Information Reporting Procedures" and require enhanced search efforts, photos and related information are published for viewing by the public.
Major necessary fugitives (with photos): 1. For investigation-stage warrant cases, under circumstances that meet the "when necessary" criteria of Article 86 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the head of the prosecutorial office may approve the publication of the fugitive's photo based on the specific case needs. 2. For execution-stage warrant cases, when a person has been sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or a fixed-term imprisonment of over 6 months (including the sentenced execution and combined cases of over 6 months), the photo should be published along with the warrant. 3. For escapees who are under the direction of a prosecutor during execution, the photo should be published along with the warrant.
(The scope and related inquiry information are from the National Police Agency of the Ministry of the Interior)

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