Every effort is being made to keep people out of jail while the Covid-19 health emergency is ongoing. Although the police are not arresting people for most offenses at this moment, the time is coming when charges will be filed, warrants will be issued, and arrests will be made.
During the novel coronavirus pandemic, police and prosecutors are making a concerted effort to keep people out of local jails. This means they are not issuing warrants and making arrests, except for serious, violent offenses and some felony crimes. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. Covid-19 is highly contagious and spreads like wildfire in jails and prisons. The current health emergency is unprecedented.
If they don’t arrest me, will I still be charged?
Police are completing investigations and holding off on requesting warrants until the health threat is reduced. In some jurisdictions, police are submitting the reports for warrants; however, the prosecutors are holding off on issuing the requested arrest warrants. This does not mean that you will not be charged; it just means that the charge will be delayed. No amount of delay makes criminal charges disappear. The statute of limitations for most crimes in Michigan is 6 years.
How will I know if I’ve been charged or if a warrant has been issued for my arrest?
Unfortunately, many people do not know they have a warrant until they are arrested. Typically, there are two circumstances in which people are arrested on warrants. Most often, someone is going about their daily business, and after a chance encounter with law enforcement, they are arrested on a warrant they did not even know existed. Arrests on open warrants frequently happen because of routine traffic stops. The second way is even less pleasant. Police can execute search warrants by forcing entry into a person’s home or work to make an arrest. Arrests made in homes or businesses are usually done by a “fugitive apprehension team.” A retained criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid an arrest altogether, so being taken into custody is seldom necessary.
How can I avoid being arrested on a warrant?
As the pandemic comes under control and the number of daily infections starts to decrease, you may wonder how you can avoid being arrested on a misdemeanor or felony warrant. To reduce the chance that you will be arrested, it is best that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A seasoned criminal defense attorney will know how to find out when a warrant is issued so that you can self-surrender. Self-surrender means that you and your lawyer appear together at the court, as opposed to the jail, to request that the judge grant bail. Bail, often referred to as bond, can be “personal,” which means that the defendant promises to appear in court for future hearings and no cash deposit is required. A good defense lawyer will know how to argue for a personal or a very low bond.
The police told me they would let me know when there is a charge, or that the court would contact me. Maybe I should just wait to see what happens?
When police do not make an arrest because they need time to complete an investigation, or want time to talk with a prosecutor, they routinely tell the “suspect” that they will receive a notice or be contacted by someone in the future. It is not commonly known that the police generally take time to do an investigation before a misdemeanor or felony charge is filed. Once the charge is filed, a warrant is issued. Unfortunately for many unsuspecting people, these notices are rarely sent, the people do not know there are charges, and they end up being arrested. You simply cannot rely on a notice being sent to you or the police contacting you. Putting your faith in the police or a court to notify you of a warrant or a charge is a recipe for disaster.
How can a criminal defense attorney help me if I’m not yet charged?
As soon as you are accused of a crime, you should hire the best lawyer you can to protect you. In some cases, a savvy, experienced lawyer can find a way to prevent you from being charged before a warrant is issued for your arrest. In cases where the charge cannot be avoided, your criminal defense attorney can make arrangements with the police department to get notified before a warrant is issued. So long as your lawyer gets notice, he or she can personally walk you into court to be arraigned. A self-surrender saves you from the embarrassment and inconvenience of an arrest at your home or work. If you walk into court voluntarily, as opposed to being brought there in handcuffs, the odds of you getting a low bond and being permitted to leave the court are much greater.
If I am under investigation or waiting to be charged during the coronavirus pandemic, why should I hire an attorney now?
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending clients on felony and misdemeanor charges. We have an unparalleled track record for keeping clients out of jail, obtaining low and personal bonds, and a reputation for achieving extraordinary resolutions for our clients. If your bond is set at an amount of money that you cannot afford, you could find yourself incarcerated while your case works its way through the court system. We will not stand by and let this happen when we represent you.
Police, prosecutors, and judges know that when you walk into court with a LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. lawyer by your side, you are serious about your defense. We know how to defend you and protect you, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. We understand that keeping you out of jail at all costs is critical. If there is a way to prevent you from being charged or arrested on a warrant, we will find it.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.