“What do I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?”
If there is a warrant for your arrest, it is essential that you have an experienced attorney who can get the warrant set aside and assure you have the best possible chance of securing a low or personal bond.
Get a Warrant Set Aside and Secure a Low or Personal Bond
Has a warrant been issued for your arrest? There may be no reason for you to see the inside of a jail cell. Hiring a well-qualified, effective, and experienced defense lawyer right away can give a defendant enough advantage to get a reasonable bond, avoid time spent in jail, and possibly get charges dismissed. Appearing for arraignment on a warrant in Michigan is scary, but with the right legal representation, you have your best hope of a low or personal bond.
A criminal defense lawyer can also arrange to be present at the initial court hearing, called an arraignment, and obtain a reasonable or personal bond. A person charged with a felony or misdemeanor should never appear in court without a lawyer present to protect and defend them. An attorney can help a client by minimizing charges, assisting the client in avoiding arrest, advancing a defense strategy, and proactively collecting favorable evidence.
Arraignment May or May Not Follow an Arrest in Michigan
An arraignment on a warrant in Michigan is a hearing before a judge or magistrate. The defendant enters a plea at the arraignment hearing, and the judge determines an appropriate bond. The bond is an amount of money deposited with the court to assure that the defendant will return to court and not commit further crimes. A skilled, savvy defense lawyer will advocate for a personal bond. A personal bond is a promise to appear and abide by all bond conditions.
Arrest Without a Warrant in Michigan
A person arrested for a crime and held in jail must be brought before a judge or magistrate within a couple of days for arraignment. The judge takes a plea, usually a “not guilty” plea, and sets a bond (also known as a bail amount) at the arraignment on a warrant. The bond’s purpose is to ensure the defendant stays out of further trouble and returns to court. A bond can be personal and does not require a cash payment. A bond can also require the deposit of money with the court or a payment to a bondsman. The defendant has a right to privately hired counsel. There is no right to a court-appointed lawyer at the arraignment. The lawyer’s job at the arraignment is to do everything possible to convince the court to order an affordable bond for the client. A high bond that results in the client’s incarceration will likely have a detrimental impact on the charges’ outcome.
Arrest With a Warrant in Michigan
In some cases, a person is arrested and released pending an investigation. It might take a prosecutor several days, weeks, or months to authorize criminal charges in these cases. When charges are issued, an arrest warrant is entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). After the warrant is entered into LEIN, the police can arrest the defendant at any moment. To remove the warrant from LEIN, the defendant must appear in court for arraignment, and the magistrate will set an amount of money required to post a bond. An experienced and adept defense attorney can help reduce the funds needed to post the bond. In fact, the defense attorney’s capability can make the difference between the defendant remaining free on bond or awaiting trial in county jail.
A retained defense lawyer may negotiate a “self-surrender” with the police so that the client can avoid being formally arrested and detained. A defendant who self-surrenders for arraignment on a warrant in Michigan has the best hope of getting a low or personal bond. By voluntarily surrendering, the defendant can avoid a surprise arrest at work, home, or at some other inconvenient time or place. The lawyer would bring the client to court and seek a reasonable bond or bail in these cases. If the judge grants the request and releases the defendant on bond, they will likely have to report voluntarily to the police station for fingerprinting and photographing.
Bond Hearing in Michigan
A person accused of a crime in Michigan is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. According to the Michigan Court Rules and the 8th Amendment, the defendant is entitled to a reasonable bond. Preparing for court and successfully arguing for a personal or low bond is complex. Any lawyer arguing for a bond at the arraignment on a warrant in Michigan must know the applicable laws.
At a bond hearing, the judge or magistrate must consider several factors when determining how much money will be required to post bail. Some of the factors include:
- The seriousness of the offense charged.
- The need to protect the public from the defendant.
- The defendant’s substance abuse and addiction history.
- The defendant’s mental condition, including any reputation for dangerousness.
- The weight of the evidence against the defendant.
- The defendant’s previous criminal history or prior contacts with law enforcement.
- The likelihood that the defendant will return to court and not flee the court’s jurisdiction.
- The defendant’s connections to the community, such as family, employment, and real estate ownership.
- Whether friends or family are willing to give assurances that the defendant is not a danger and will show up for court.
Any bond will have a variety of conditions and orders. Bond conditions frequently include orders not to leave the state of Michigan, not to use drugs or alcohol, not to have contact with any alleged victims, to participate in drug and alcohol testing, and not to possess firearms.
“Should I go to court alone for arraignment on a warrant in Michigan and then hire a lawyer if it doesn’t go well?”
It is common for people to come to court for arraignment on an arrest warrant without a lawyer. These individuals are unaware of the possible perils that await them, and they figure there will be time later to find an attorney. If the accused gets arraigned and the judge sets a high bond, they may not be able to get out of jail. Inability to post bond is a serious problem because that bond cannot be changed unless there is a finding that the arraigning magistrate or judge “abused his discretion.” It is difficult to persuade a judge to grant a Motion to Reduce Bond after the fact because they do not want to make a ruling that a colleague did something improper or imprudent. The best hope for a defendant to be released on a minimal bond is to have a lawyer at the arraignment on a warrant in Michigan.
Criminal Defense Lawyers with Expertise at Arraignment on a Warrant in Michigan
The defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully achieving low and personal bonds for clients when arraigned on felony and misdemeanor charges. We recognize that the client’s release from custody at arraignment on a warrant in Michigan can make all the difference in the defense’s success or failure. When there is no room for errors or the false promises offered by a lawyer who is the lowest bidder, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for affordable help with your criminal charges.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.