Can I face charges if I was not arrested?
Regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic, police officers frequently arrest and release a suspect pending charges. The charge starts when a court issues an arrest warrant.
You Can Avoid Arrest by Retaining Counsel Early
The government is trying to keep people out of jail while the Covid-19 health emergency is ongoing. Although the police are not arresting people for most offenses now, the time is coming when they will file charges, obtain warrants, and make arrests.
During the coronavirus pandemic, police and prosecutors are trying to keep people out of local jails. 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 there is a reduced health threat. In some jurisdictions, police submit the reports for warrants; however, the prosecutors are holding off on issuing the requested arrest warrants. A delayed warrant does not mean that you will not face charges; it just means that there is a delay. The criminal charges do not disappear. The statute of limitations for most crimes in Michigan is six (6) years.
How will I know if I’ve been charged or have a warrant for my arrest?
Unfortunately, many people do not know they have a warrant until police arrest them. Typically, there are two circumstances in which police arrest people on warrants. Most often, someone is going about their daily business, and after a chance encounter with law enforcement, the officer arrests them 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. A “fugitive apprehension team” usually makes arrests in homes or businesses. 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 decreases, you may wonder how you can avoid arrest for a misdemeanor or felony warrant. To reduce the chance of arrest, you should 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 instead of 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 was a charge or that the court would contact me. Maybe I should wait to see what happens?
When police do not arrest someone 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 the court will contact them in the future. Contrary to popular belief, the police generally take time to investigate before filing a misdemeanor or felony charge. Once the police file the charge, the court issues a warrant. Unfortunately for many unsuspecting people, the courts rarely send notices. Because the people do not know there are charges, they end up arrested. You cannot rely on the court notifying you or the police contacting you. Putting your faith in the police or a court to inform you of a warrant or a charge is a recipe for disaster.
How can a criminal defense attorney help me if the police have not yet filed charges?
As soon as someone accuses you of a crime, you should hire the best lawyer within your means to protect yourself. In some cases, a savvy, experienced lawyer can find a way to prevent you from being charged before the court issues a warrant for your arrest. In cases where the charge is unavoidable, 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, they can personally walk you into court for arraignment. A self-surrender saves you from the embarrassment and inconvenience of an arrest at your home or work. If you walk into court voluntarily, instead of being brought there in handcuffs, the odds of getting a low bond and being permitted to leave the court are much better.
Why should I hire an attorney now if I am under investigation or waiting for charges during the coronavirus pandemic?
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 you cannot afford to post your bond, 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 you are serious about your defense when you walk into court with a LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. lawyer by your side. We know how to defend 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, you can be sure we will find it.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.