Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”
It is scary to think about turning yourself in to the North Carolina police, let alone actually to go to the police station and do it. Many of those who consider turning themselves in are aware of a warrant for their arrest.
Is turning yourself in a smart move if you are being accused of a crime in North Carolina? Can you strengthen your criminal defense by turning yourself in to the police?
First and foremost, remain calm and call a Charlotte criminal defense attorney to discuss your next steps. While it may seem that turning yourself in is the first thing you should do, before you do it, you need to have a clear defense strategy.
After all, many people who are accused of crimes end up making incriminating statements when turning themselves in. You need to understand what you can and cannot say when going to the police department.
How do You Turn Yourself in?
Most people think that they need to go to the nearest police department to turn themselves in, but it may be more efficient to visit the county sheriff, usually at your city’s local jail. In Mecklenburg County, for example, the jail, sheriff’s office, and the magistrate’s office are located in the same building.
In order to turn yourself in, bring some form of government-issued photo identification. Showing your ID will help authorities make sure that they are booking the right person.
How Soon can You Get Out?
When turning themselves in, many people wonder, “How soon will I be able to get out?” Typically, a magistrate will set an initial bond within a few hours after you turn yourself in, though this can vary greatly depending on time of day, day of the week, holidays and any other random administrative factors. Experienced local criminal defense attorneys should be aware of many of these factors and help you plan accordingly to expedite the process.
However, how soon you will get out depends on the terms of your bond, which in turn, depend on your criminal record, the nature of the crime, and whether you are considered a danger to society. Typically, the process takes longer for people accused of violent crimes.
After the initial bond has been set by a magistrate in North Carolina, your Charlotte criminal defense attorney can set up a bond hearing before a judge.
Do You Need a Lawyer Prior to Turning Yourself in?
Absolutely. Your criminal defense lawyer will navigate the process of you turning yourself in, keep you informed on the progress of your arrest, help you obtain a bondsman, minimize the amount of time spent in jail as much as possible and prepare the most proactive defense strategy for your circumstances.
Your lawyer will warn you against giving up any of your constitutional rights when turning yourself in and encourage you to avoid making statements to anyone. Contact our results-driven criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, even if there is no active warrant for your arrest but you fear that you may be arrested. Learn about your options before things get out of control. Our lawyers will determine whether turning yourself in is the right decision in your particular situation. Call at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.
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