Arrest warrants are standard for all criminal cases around the globe. In the US, criminal cases begin with the court issuing a warrant against the suspect. Is there an active arrest warrant against you? If you have reason to believe that there is an active arrest warrant against you, you need to stop for a minute and think. Planning is one of the first steps for ridding yourself of criminal charges. An arrest warrant often makes people panic, and if you have one against you, your first instinct can be to run and hide. However, think of it from the court’s perspective. When a person is aware of the criminal charges against him, and he runs from the law, it instantly confirms his guilt. The longer you take to turn yourself in, the guiltier you manage to look. The accused runs to either evade responsibility or to avoid the legal proceedings, if not both.
What should you do if you have an active arrest warrant against you?
On the other hand, turning yourself in upon learning about an active arrest warrant, puts you forth as a responsible and law-abiding citizen of the US. You can also wait for the police to come and pick you up from home. Both options are smarter than running. No matter which one of the two options you pick, you need an attorney by your side before the cops start interviewing you. In the event of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs) case, the charges can escalate quickly. Having a DUI Lawyer to consult can help you negotiate for lesser charges. All suspects have the constitutional right to counsel at all stages of the case, and this applies to the period before you surrender to the cops.
What is a court summons?
At this moment you might want to know if summons and warrants are the same. Do they have the same power? Are the accused supposed to see them the same way? Legally, a summons and a warrant have the same purpose. They get the accused to the criminal or traffic court. They serve the same purpose, but the effect can be very different. While a summons is a written order that has the name of the suspect or accused in the written complaint along with the specifics of the court date. Usually, following the release of a summons, the law enforcement might or might not arrest the alleged perpetrator. However, before they leave the law enforcement offices, they have to sign a charging document that ensures their appearance in court. This process does not require a bond, and the court usually releases a summons in place of an arrest warrant, when they know that the person is highly likely to turn up during the proceedings without a bond or an arrest.
The prosecutors and the law enforcement prefer issuing a summons against a person, in the event of a traffic violation or a DUI. The accused have higher chances of appearing in the court, and they pose little to no immediate threat to the everyday folks. Usually, the summons can be a part of the citation, and it precedes the warrant, in case the accused fails to show up for his court date. In most DUI or OVI (Operating Vehicle under the Influence) cases, the court prefers releasing a summons rather than issuing an arrest warrant in the initial stages of the case.
How is an arrest warrant different from a summons?
In unique cases, the court can issue a warrant against the person accused of DUI. It is similar to a summons, but it requires the law enforcement to arrest the accused in question. The police usually bring the suspect in, processes him or her, and they can remain in jail for up to 48 hours. The court can choose to set a bond that represents the person’s promise to return to court. An arrest warrant may require a person to guarantee the validity of the bond against money, property or other collateral. The police and the prosecutors only go for arrest warrants in place of summons, if the accused is a flight risk. If they have a reason to believe that the accused is also a threat to the public, the chances of a warrant replacing a summons become significantly higher. Misdemeanors and violent conduct can also result in the issuance of warrants. These are felony offenses, and it is imperative for you not to run if such a charge comes up against you for any reason. In such a situation, you need to exercise your right to an attorney and contact someone (or a litigation firm) that has the experience to handle these matters smoothly.
What should you do in case of a DUI arrest?
Keeping the number of an experienced attorney on your speed dial can save you a lot of time, money and hassle. You must remember, once there is a formal arrest warrant against you, the police can arrest you any place and at any time. That threatens the reputation of working personnel or a business owner to a significant degree. Additionally, they are not obligated to offer you time to put your affairs in order before they take you in. Therefore, the moment you learn about a possible active warrant against you, you should contact your attorney for legal advice. The nature of the charges always influences the negotiation of the surrender terms. The presence of a skilled lawyer can also control the conditions and cost of bail. Having a deft attorney and law firm on your side can mean getting bail in less than a couple of hours of your formal arrest. It is possible to reduce the cost or eliminate it during posting bail.
You may not be a regular drinker or a social drinker, but it is smart to keep the contact of a DUI lawyer on the person at all times. Having the right legal support by your side can save you a lot of regret in the long run.