WANTED – dealing with an active warrant
We have a received a lot of phone calls recently from individuals that have active warrants for their arrest and want to know what the next step is.
While most charges are filed at the time of arrest, in some instances a crime is investigated, then presented to a district attorney (state crimes) or U.S. attorney (federal crimes) who files charges. Because you are not yet in custody a warrant is issued.
Typically you learn of the warrant because your mailbox gets stuffed with solicitation from bonding companies and attorneys. Other times you may learn an officer has come around your home or place of business. Your attorney may be in contact with the lead detective who will notify him/her of the warrant. Lastly, you may actually get picked up by an officer. If you are arrested, go peacefully and respectfully. You will have your time to fight the allegations, but that time is not when the officer is attempting to arrest you. If you are interrogated, simply state, “You would be happy to cooperate with your attorney present (and request your attorney).”
If you have an active warrant and are not yet under arrest the next step is turning yourself in. An attorney can assist you in this process. If a bond has already been set, and the crime is eligible for what is known as a “walk through” and you will spend very little time in custody before being bonded out. If a bond is not set, you will have to turn yourself in and have your attorney approach the judge who has jurisdiction over the case to ask for a reasonable bond. Once a bond is set the bonding process can begin. If a bond is set, but the alleged crime is not eligible for a “walk through” you will have to appear before a judge or magistrate to receive your admonishments (crimes not eligible for a “walk through” include assault, domestic violence, sexual assault, etc.)
Expected wait times:
- Walk through – approximately 1 hour
- Bond, but not eligible for walk through – 8 – 24 hours (depending on when you are able to get in front of a magistrate/judge)
- No Bond – 24 hours +
It is important to know that ignoring the warrant will not result in the charges going away. Turning yourself in with adequate legal representation is the first step towards the path of freedom.