Many people wonder how to get a court date for a pending felony or misdemeanor charge.
There are many questions about self-surrender on a criminal warrant, but there is not a lot of reliable, truthful information online posted by experienced criminal defense lawyers. Here is what you need to know.
How to Avoid Arrest for a Criminal Charge
Frequently asked questions include: how to get a court date, what to do if you have a warrant, how long it takes for a warrant to be issued, and when will the court schedule an arraignment? The following information should answer most of your questions. If you have unanswered questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. directly. We have highly experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers on hand who are willing to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. If there is a way to help you, the defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will find it.
Given the health issues facing Michigan and the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is taking longer than ever to get a case to court. Except for assaultive crimes, police are trying to avoid making arrests, and prosecutors are resisting authorizing charges while there is a pending health crisis. Courts are generally not holding hearings in criminal cases unless defendants are in custody.
How do I get a court date?
Getting a court date for a felony or misdemeanor matter is frequently dependent on the court scheduling a hearing, the police turning in the necessary paperwork, or the prosecutor issuing a warrant. It is always possible to call a court and see if a hearing has been scheduled. Most courts now have their dockets online, and you can search for your case with your first and last name. If the paperwork has not been filed, the name search will not produce a result. If a warrant has been issued, then you have the option of turning yourself into the police or the court, or you can hire a lawyer to schedule a date for an arraignment on the warrant. With a retained criminal defense lawyer, it may be possible to avoid being arrested on a warrant or having to serve any time in jail waiting for a court date.
What should I do if I have a warrant for my arrest?
The best thing to do is to retain a reputable, respected defense attorney to go with you to court to be arraigned. An experienced lawyer can find a way to get your case on track and keep you out of custody on a reasonable bond. While we are dealing with Covid-19, many courts are refusing to arraign defendants on warrants unless the cases are assaultive or very serious. So that you do not spend any unnecessary time behind bars, let your lawyer contact the court for you and determine the best course to keep you out of custody.
What should I do if I am under investigation for a crime?
If you are a suspect in a felony or misdemeanor investigation, you must take the matter seriously. The stakes are higher than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic because, in addition to an arrest causing your life to be turned upside down, your health may be jeopardized if you are incarcerated with other inmates. People may believe that by talking with police, they may be able to claim their innocence or plead for mercy. Having a conversation with a police officer or answering any question is almost certain to backfire. Talking with the police, even to profess your innocence, can result in a quicker arrest and a stronger case against you. Remember, whatever you say “can and will be used against you.” Police will simply claim that someone’s claim of innocence was not strong enough, that it was inconsistent with body language, or seemed insincere. Remember, any officer you speak to assumes you are guilty, and they are simply looking for ammunition to get you convicted. Can a defense lawyer help? A seasoned criminal defense lawyer may be able to convince a detective to hold off on issuing a warrant until it is safe to go to court or delay an investigation to give the attorney time to stop the charges from being issued by demonstrating the client’s innocence or showing that an allegation is unfounded.
How do I know if I have a warrant for my arrest?
Warrants are not generally public information, and it can be surprisingly hard to figure out if a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Although it makes little sense, police departments rarely will answer questions regarding warrants and pending criminal charges. Appearing in person when there is a pending warrant can be a disastrous mistake because you could find yourself stuck in jail. A defense lawyer, who is known to the police, will have a much greater chance of finding out if there is a warrant. Most detectives and police officers will, as a professional courtesy, arrange a date and time for the defendant to appear in court with his or her lawyer so that an arrest is not necessary.
If I appear in court for a warrant, will I be released or held in jail?
When someone appears in court because there is a new criminal charge, the first hearing is called an arraignment. When a defendant is arraigned, any pending warrant is canceled, and the judge sets a bond. A bond is an amount of money that can be posted so that the defendant can remain out of jail while the case works its way through the court system. If the judge grants a “personal bond,” then no money needs to be deposited with the court, and the defendant merely needs to promise to come back to court and obey the law. Various rules control how the judge makes a bond decision, and a criminal defense lawyer stands the best chance of persuading the judge to grant a personal bond, as opposed to ordering a cash bond.
How long does it take for the police to issue a warrant?
There is no hard and fast time limit for how long the police have to investigate a crime. Some investigations can take hours or days, and other investigations can take months or even years. Once the investigation is complete, the reports go to a prosecutor who will decide the charge and draft a warrant. The officer then takes the warrant to a judge who issues the warrant, and then it gets entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). After the warrant is in LEIN, you are subject to arrest any time, anywhere. If police are looking into business records, cell phone records, or scientific evidence, it can take many months before an investigation is completed. For most crimes, there is a six-year statute of limitations; however, rarely does an investigation take that long to complete.
Defense Attorneys Who Can Get a Court Date for You
The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully defending clients and achieving extraordinary results. If you are under investigation or subject to arrest on a felony or misdemeanor warrant, we can help you. Our attorneys have had tremendous success in convincing judges to grant low and personal bonds so that our clients do not have to serve time in jail. We are are not afraid to stand up to aggressive police and tough prosecutors. When you need someone to fight for you and protect your rights, we are ready and willing to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.