When you have an active warrant out for your arrest, it is in your best interest to turn yourself in to the police. You are showing the courts that you are taking responsibility for your actions and not trying to hide from the charges against you.
By turning yourself in to the police, you can also take control of the situation and do it on your terms. You can make childcare arrangements, take days off of work if needed, and take care of anything else before dealing with the case that lies ahead.
Once you decide to turn yourself in to the police, you should know what to expect about the process and what is expected of you. We’re going to outline the process as well as what you’ll need when turning yourself in, what you should expect with the bond process, and how a criminal defense attorney can help you.
What happens when you turn yourself in for an arrest warrant?
The process of turning yourself in for an arrest warrant typically follows the same pattern. This includes:
- Police search
- Photo for a mug shot
- Filling out paperwork
You may also be asked to change into a jail jumpsuit. Once all of these things are done, you will appear before a magistrate who will set bail based on a range that depends on the type of charges you are facing.
It’s important to note that magistrates are not allowed to set bail for certain types of charges. If a magistrate cannot set bail, you will stay in jail before you can set up a hearing before a judge.
What does it mean to turn myself in?
Turning oneself in to the police can mean different things in different situations. If an individual has a warrant out for their arrest, it means that they are wanted by the police and a judge has issued an order for their arrest.
In this case, turning oneself in to the police means going to the station voluntarily to be processed and detained according to the charges. This is opposed to being arrested by the police in public or at one’s home, which can be a more stressful and unpredictable experience.
When an individual turns themselves in, they are usually able to negotiate the terms of their surrender and may even be released on bail until their court date. While there are risks involved in any arrest, turning oneself in to the police is often the best option for those with an active warrant.
What is a Ramey Warrant?
A Ramey warrant is a type of arrest warrant that is issued by a judge in criminal cases. It is named after the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Ramey v. California, which held that an arrest warrant must be based on probable cause and must be endorsed by a neutral and detached magistrate.
A Ramey warrant is sometimes also referred to as a “no-knock” warrant, as it allows police to enter a premises without first announcing their presence or knocking on the door. This type of warrant is often used in cases where there is a risk of evidence being destroyed or where there is a danger to law enforcement officers.
It’s likely turning yourself in before a Ramey Warrant is acted upon would prevent your residence from being searched, but it any appearance of cooperation with the system could be advantageous.
What happens if you don’t turn yourself in for an arrest warrant?
If you don’t turn yourself in for an arrest warrant, the authorities could send an officer to come and find you. People usually don’t like this to happen because it can happen in front of others and can be embarrassing.
What happens when I turn myself in for a misdemeanor?
Misdemeanor warrants are issued in criminal cases involving misdemeanor offenses. In some cases, a judge issues an arrest warrant after the state files criminal charges against the accused in the warrant.
If you fall into this category, you can contact the courthouse or go there directly to schedule an arraignment with the clerk’s office. This can be referred to as a “warrant walk-in”.
The first court hearing in a criminal case is usually the arraignment. This is where the defendant enters a plea, and a future court date is set.
After the hearing, the judge will usually release you on your own recognizance. This allows someone to get out of jail after an arrest or arraignment without having to post bail. It will keep you out of jail based on your promise to appear in court.
In cases where people don’t show up for their court date, bench warrants can be issued. A bench warrant allows law enforcement officers to arrest you and bring you to court. The act of failing to appear in court is a crime that can lead to more criminal charges.
What are the benefits of turning yourself in?
There are several reasons why you would want to turn yourself in to the police. These include:
- Resolving the issue of having an active warrant on your criminal record
- Avoid the embarrassment of law enforcement agencies showing up unexpectedly
- Increase the odds of getting bail because you are demonstrating that you are taking responsibility and are not a flight risk
- The prosecution may consider your efforts when offering a plea bargain
A defense attorney taking your case would rather see yourself in than be arrested on a warrant.
What’s the best time to turn yourself in?
The best time of day to turn yourself into the police station is usually the morning. If you turn yourself in early enough in the morning, you may be able to go to court later that morning and possibly have the bond reduced.
The best days of the week to turn yourself in are typically Tuesday-Thursday. Mondays are busy days for courts and law enforcement agencies. Judges and magistrates are sometimes harder to find on Fridays which would mean you would have to wait through the weekend.
How do you prepare yourself to turn yourself in to the police?
The first step is to call the local sheriff’s office to see if there are any special instructions. The local sheriff’s office can alert you to whether any rules have changed and what you need to know.
If you have any medical conditions, you’ll want to know the protocol to keep you healthy and if you’ll have to bring any medical records.
During the process, you have the right to remain silent and you’ll want to do so. You will also have your Miranda Rights read to you. You will want to remember that anything you say can be used against you in court.
Avoid talking to any other people in the lockup as well. Any conversation may be turned against you. Be courteous, cooperative, respectful, and keep to yourself, and the process should go as smoothly as possible.
What do I need to bring when turning myself in?
When you turn yourself in to the police, you’ll want to wear suitable, casual clothing. The formal booking process can take time, so you’ll want to be comfortable. Don’t bring extra clothes or jewelry, not even a wedding ring.
When you turn yourself in to the police, the items you should bring include:
- Basic identification documents with a photo (driver’s license, passport, military identification card)
- Prescription medications
- Glasses, hearing aids, canes, walkers, or any other devices you may need.
You may also want to bring cash so you can post bail.
Since you will be searched as part of the process, any items considered contraband will be taken. This includes:
- Pocket knives
- Tobacco products
- Nail files
Also, avoid taking your cell phone because cell phones are not allowed after you’ve been booked. Write down any emergency phone numbers you may need once you’ve been processed in case you need to speak to someone.
Can you post bail before turning yourself in?
You can try to post bail before turning yourself in. If you decide to do this, you may want to hire a criminal defense attorney first. By having an attorney on your side to help you face the criminal charge against you.
Your criminal defense lawyer can help you decide how to turn yourself in and can guide you in the bail process. Once you have a lawyer and have learned how much money will be required for bail, you’ll want to make sure you have enough available to post bail.
Should I Contact A Bail Bonds Company Before Turning Myself In?
If the bail amount is higher than you can afford, you may want to call a bail bondsman to help secure the money. In some cases, you may be able to secure the bond from the bail bondsman on your own. Other times, you’ll need to ask for help from family or friends.
When working with a bail bondsman, you may have to provide a form of collateral. This is typically in the form of an asset. Collateral is only collected if you do not follow the terms of your bail.
How Can A Criminal Defense Attorney Assist In Turning Yourself In?
A criminal defense attorney can help you in turning yourself in by making you aware of the process and making sure you are taking all of the right steps. They can also help you to understand the criminal charges against you.
If you find yourself needing to turn yourself in on a warrant, call the Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker in Raleigh. We have the experience needed to get you the legal help you need. Call us today at (919) 439-5104 or contact us online for more information.