What Happens When You Turn Yourself In
Whether it’s a slight or serious charge, turning yourself in is the first step to working through the legal and judicial system and returning to normal life. While this step is oftentimes the most difficult and highly deliberated, it’s the most logical option.
Define the Charge
The details and logistics of surrendering due to a warrant depend heavily on the type of warrant and charge placed on the individual or organization. Therefore, it’s important to understand why the warrant was issued.
If there is a warrant issued for an arrest, this generally means there is already sufficient evidence in place for law enforcement agents to make an arrest. Yet, this is not the only reason a warrant is issued. The accused may have failed to show for court (bench warrant) or it may be a warrant giving officers the right to search a premises (search warrant). There are also felony warrants, civil warrants, and alias warrants.
With that said, while warrants are issued for various negligent actions, typically the most prevalent and damaging warrants are criminal. Criminal charges range from “domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and drug crimes to driving under the influence (DUI), theft, embezzlement and fraud.”
After researching the type of warrant, reason for issue, and the possible repercussions of avoiding said warrant, it’s time to search out advice.
- Legal Advice
Before determining how, when, and where to turn yourself in for a warrant it’s imperative to seek legal counsel, specifically with a criminal lawyer. Criminal defense lawyers, as well as public defenders, are educated and trained specifically to defend individuals, organizations, companies, and entities that accrue criminal charges.
Seeking and obtaining legal council before turning yourself is generally the determining factor for length of time being incarcerated. More specifically, per FreeAdvice.com, “If you turn yourself in before retaining an attorney, you may be unable to reach an attorney quickly after being incarcerated … You could be in jail a long time … When you retain a defense attorney, your attorney will be able to tell you about the specifics of your case … For example, if you are accused of a DUI and have an outstanding warrant, this could affect your standing custody case.”
Along with providing guidance and support through the process, a lawyer is also privileged with details regarding the amount of your bond. Knowing the amount of a bond may determine how long one stays in jail depending on their ability to contact a bail bonds agent and secure bail.
- Police, Sheriff, or Court Advice
Legal advice is not the only option. For some, obtaining a lawyer is too expensive. Yet, it’s imperative to understand your options before turning yourself in. Therefore, go to the source. Depending on the type of court that issued your warrant, you can simply call the police station or sheriff’s office. While this avenue may not provide you with the same in-depth guidance and sustainable support as a lawyer, they will provide the necessary steps and logistical overview for turning yourself in.
Retaining Reliable Witnesses & Bond
An important, yet oftentimes overlooked, aspect of turning yourself in is securing witnesses for a court appearance. Unless a warrant is issued due to clerical errors or misunderstandings, witnesses are key to avoiding jail time.
Some of the most influential witnesses include “family members, significant others, and employers. A judge is moved to release you when they hear that you are not a danger to society. They also view it as a positive if family members and employers care enough to show up in court and ask for your release. It helps if your witnesses promise to remind you of an upcoming court date.”
The most important and stressful aspect of turning yourself in is determining when and how you will be released. Oftentimes, this lies directly on the bond. Bond hearings are very methodical and influence how long one will remain detained or if they can leave that moment. One of the most important steps in order to retain legal advice is the bond hearing. Criminal lawyers will be present to support and barter with the judge in order to accurately and forcefully uphold your story.
With that said, make sure to prep physically (ie. clothing and personal effects), as well as logistically, for your surrender.
- Morning surrenders are best. By surrendering at 7am or earlier, you have the best chance of moving through the system quicker.
- Choose conservative and comfortable dress.
- Make sure pockets are empty! It is highly likely that a physical search will take place. Any contraband or items seen as possible threats will be taken away. This may include “tobacco products (which are not allowed in certain county detention facilities) … nail files, and pocket knives.” This also includes mobile phones. It’s recommended to write any pertinent phone numbers, names, and addresses on a piece of paper and leave your mobile phone at home.
- Notify the court of medical conditions that require equipment, medication, or special services or assistance.
8-Ball Bail Bonds is a fully licensed and insured bail bonds agency located in Las Vegas, Nevada. They offer 24-7 service for clients in need of assistance in stressful and oftentimes overwhelming situations. By tailing services with each client’s individual needs, the highly knowledgeable and educated staff at 8-Ball Bail Bonds is able to provide exemplary and specialized customer service. For more information or to speak with a representative directly, feel free to contact us.