It is Generally Best to Self-Surender with a Criminal Defense Attorney by Your Side
If you know there is a warrant outstanding for you; it will never go away by itself. It must be addressed. However, it would be best if you do not turn yourself in at a court or the police station without an expert criminal defense lawyer with you.
Warrants Never Go Away
When a warrant is put into the LEIN system (Law Enforcement Information Network), it will never be removed without an order from a court. A judge is the only person authorized to take a warrant out of LEIN because a judge is who put it there in the first place.
Failure to Appear Warrant – When a person fails to appear in court, it is considered contempt of court. If people did not appear in court when ordered to, the legal system (and consequently, society at large to a great extent) would fall apart. If that happens, people would have to take all matters into their own hands, and violence would eventually ensue. Society has decided that it should not be allowed to occur.
After you are arrested, contempt of court can result in a monetary fine and jail. If you are arrested on the street for an outstanding warrant that a judge has reason to believe you knew about, you will soon be face-to-face with a judge whom you have challenged and insulted; not an appealing circumstance. The judge will set a bond that will typically be high enough based on your economic circumstances so that you will most likely stay in jail until your court date. The judge will want to make sure you appear, and you have already proven you can’t be trusted to appear.
Arrest Warrant – If the police obtained an arrest warrant and you do not know of it, you might be arrested at any time. If you are arrested, you would have to appear for arraignment while you are in custody. If you know of the warrant and plan to plead ignorance, that is a losing strategy that can result in your long-term incarceration. Merely “hoping for the best” is a risky and normally losing strategy. When you know that you are under investigation, it is best to hire reputable counsel immediately so that he or she can determine if you are subject to arrest.
Your best strategy to stay out of jail is to be proactive.
If you have been involved in some illegal activity and you believe the police may know about it and know your identity, your best strategy is to immediately retain an expert criminal defense attorney to look into it for you. Promptly retaining counsel is also best if you are aware someone has accused you of criminal activity. If you look into it, the first thing a police officer will say to you is he or she wants to talk to you at once and get “your side of the story.” This type of trickery is a common ploy used to obtain statements from you that can be used as evidence in court. It is never, under any circumstances, wise to talk to the police yourself.
An attorney can find out if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, can make contact with the officer in charge of your case, and file an appearance with the court that issued the warrant. If an attorney files an appearance, the court will normally take the warrant out of the system because the court knows you will appear; otherwise, you would not have wasted your money hiring an attorney.
What if I didn’t know there was a warrant out for me?
Of course, there are times when people honestly have no idea they have a warrant out for them. A warrant can issue for a person’s arrest without their knowledge when false charges are alleged by someone with a bad motive such as revenge. As an example, many domestic violence cases are based on false allegations made by an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend after a painful breakup or by a former spouse to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. If you were unaware that you were charged, your lawyer would be able to show the judge that you did not know there was a warrant for your arrest. Your lack of awareness is even more likely when you are completely innocent; the party who led the police to obtain the warrant had an illegal motive and lied to the police. Showing some evidence that the complainant had an improper motive may result in a successful disposition in court.
Premier Criminal Defense Attorneys for Addressing Outstanding Warrants
The top-rated attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully and proactively guided clients through the process of turning themselves in on outstanding warrants for decades in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties and throughout Michigan as well as in federal courts. We know all aspects of the process and have many astute strategies to address every circumstance. We will make the process as painless as possible, and protect you every step of the way so that you obtain the best result possible.
Give us a call, and one of our expert attorneys will take the time to explain the process, answer all of your questions, and devise a strategy to make things right with the court, letting you move on with peace of mind.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.