Imagine yourself sitting at a friend’s house watching your favorite basketball team and you get a phone call from home. Frantically, your girlfriend says, “the police are looking for you and they just came to the house.” What do you do? The better question is, what DID you do to get a warrant? Your Baltimore Criminal Defense lawyer says, “stay calm and call us.”
Do I have a warrant?
Often we get clients that call us with those frantic words. We have access to systems to figure out not only if a client has a warrant, but what type of warrant it is. Essentially, the consequences of the warrant, regardless of type, is the same:
- Your driver’s license is suspended
- The police are looking for you
- And if it is a serious crime, they are going to try to talk to you at your most vulnerable, without your lawyer (or before you can hire one).
Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer: What types of warrant(s) might I have?
There are a couple of different possibilities, each one having different results.
- The FTA warrant. If you have an incarcerable traffic case or petty criminal case and you miss a court date, you will get a warrant. Often these warrants have pre-set (or judicially determined) bail amounts. Additionally, if you have a good and legitimate reason for missing your court date, you may be able to have the warrant quashed (or recalled) by the judge who issued it. Any competent Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer can write a motion on your behalf and have the warrant quashed.
- The Arrest warrant. This is a standard District Court warrant, issued by a commissioner. Bail will be set once you turn yourself in by the commissioner. These too can be recalled but it is difficult because judges do not like recalling an arrest warrant. Alternatively, we can arrange a turn-in (see below).
- The Circuit Court Arrest warrant. This is a special warrant issued by a Circuit Court Judge. Often it involves a serious felony case and must be signed off by the elected State’s Attorney for the jurisdiction from which the warrant was issued. The bail is pre-set and can only be addressed at a bail review hearing after arrest and processing (which by law must be the next day).
Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer: I have a warrant, now what?
It’s very simple, first and foremost, stay calm. It may be easier said than done, but it is vitally important to relax and work through the process (which is often long and not at all simple).
Second, don’t talk to anyone (don’t text, Facebook, email, tweet, or Instagram either!) and call us! We offer evening and weekend consultations and have met clients with warrants in unusual locations to help facilitate a turn in. Remember anything you say can and will be used against you!
Third, allow us to arrange for a turn in. Get your personal affairs in order; meet with us; and have a personal ENlawyer escort to the station for your turn in, so there is no mistake that you have an attorney. Fourth, have a bondsman on speed dial. Finally, get a reasonable bail at your bail review (with your ENlawyer helping of course). It should be noted that depending on the type of warrant and type of crime, you may only be released or given bail under 5-202 or under the Maryland Rules by a Judge. We will visit bail reviews in a later article.
The bottom line on having a warrant
Remain calm, all is well. Just because you get arrested, does not make you guilty of anything. Call your favorite Baltimore Criminal Defense lawyer and hold tight. We’ll smooth the process and hopefully facilitate your quick release!