How Do I Turn Myself in on a Warrant?

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No one should ever “walk in” to court without a great criminal defense lawyer by his or her side. The attorney may make a difference between going home or going to jail.

How Do I Turn Myself in on a Warrant

You should always have an experienced attorney on your side

If you become aware that a warrant has been issued for your arrest, it is always a good thing to turn yourself in rather than have the police come and find you at home, work, or driving down the road. Most courts have designated dates and times for “walk in arraignments.” However, you should always have an experienced criminal defense attorney with you when you appear in court. You should never appear in court without someone protecting and defending you. There are several reasons why:

  • One of the things that will happen at court is that a bond will be set which you will have to post before leaving the courthouse. Your experienced criminal attorney knows exactly what to say to the judge to make a personal bond or a low monetary bond more likely. You may think that you know what to say to the judge to help you get a personal bond or low bond, but the fact is that it takes decades of experience to formulate an effective argument in court. The factors the judge considers in setting a bond are complex and a seasoned lawyer knows how to make the most persuasive argument.
  • If the judge sees that you have invested in a retained attorney, the court will know that you are serious about coming back to court and dealing with the charges. Therefore, there will be less reason to set a high bond to ensure your return.
  • If a person turns themselves in without a lawyer, the police have an opportunity to approach the person and attempt to question them. This would never happen if the person has a lawyer with them. Just like with the judge, you may think you can explain your side of the matter to a police officer and help yourself. This is not true. Anything you say can be twisted or interpreted in a number of ways. And if you have spoken to the police, they can embellish or twist your comments according to their own recollection, and it ends up in a credibility contest between you and the officer. It is far better to say nothing, and your attorney will ensure that is the case.
  • Voluntarily surrendering on a bond is a good sign that someone is likely to show up in court. If a person gets arrested on an open warrant, it will look as if the defendant was attempting to avoid court. If the judge does not have confidence the defendant will appear back for a court date, he is likely to set a high cash bond.
  • Finally, judges have to consider the safety of the community when setting bond. Because the judge only has minutes to decide if a person is a potential threat, a strong, persuasive and brief argument must be crafted to alleviate any of the court’s concerns. An attorney with experience representing clients at bond hearings is in the best position to make the most effective argument.

It should be noted that people do not have a court-appointed attorney at the time of such “walk-ins.” In fact, one of the things a judge will do when you walk in is ask if you want a court-appointed attorney. By then, damage may already have been done.

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Will a warrant eventually expire?

If there is a warrant out for your arrest, it is not going to go away…ever. Eventually you will be arrested. It is always the best thing to turn yourself in voluntarily as soon as possible. The longer you wait to resolve an outstanding warrant, the more difficult it becomes to secure a low bond.

Will the Statute of Limitations pass if I can avoid being arrested?

No. Most crimes cannot be charged after the expiration of the Statute of Limitations; however, if a warrant is issued the charge has already be made in court. The Statute of Limitations runs from the date of the offense until the date the charge is filed in court. The time it takes to arrest the defendant does not factor into the Statute of Limitations.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorney for Felony and Misdemeanor Warrants

The dedicated, experienced and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties and throughout Michigan. Every case is different and regardless of the challenges in your case, our attorneys will find a way to help you. We have a well-earned reputation for providing aggressive and effective defense and the highest quality legal representation.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

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Illegal Searches and Seizures – Warrantless Searches

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On March 3, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument on an important search and seizure case. The case results from a challenge to an ordinance in Los Angeles that allowed law enforcement to search hotel and motel guest registers without probable cause and without a warrant.

Searches Without Warrant

The ordinance appears to have been enacted to provide a disincentive for the short term use of hotels or motels for crime.

The district court said that hotels had no reasonable expectation of privacy in their guest information. The court of appeals disagreed and determined that hotels did have a limited privacy interest in their registry.

It is important to note that this case involved just the hotel owners and NOT guests.

The hotel owners are arguing that just because a business is highly regulated does not mean that there should be unlimited access to records. The owners pointed to Riley v California which stated that the 4th amendment’s warrant requirement should apply with special care to cell phones.

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Fourth Amendment issues often cause constitutional fireworks and today’s Supreme Court Justices are certainly divided on their approaches on search and seizure issues. It will be interesting to see the court’s decision.

Criminal lawyers who know and understand the Constitution are your best bet.

If you are facing some thing that you think rises to the level of a constitutional issue or challenge, no matter if the issue is big or small, you should have legal help from an attorney who knows and understands the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There are hundreds of years of cases interpreting the Constitution. Many of these cases were controversial at the time, but taken for granted now.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

The attorneys at Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. pride themselves at being cutting edge legal scholars and creative thinkers. Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. specialize in representing people that are facing criminal prosecutions. We are available to answer your questions and look forward to discussing things with you. Please call us at (248) 263-6800. We are Michigan “go-to” criminal defense attorneys and we are not afraid to win.

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“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!