Arrest warrants should never be ignored. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer and Virginia DUI attorney, I know that ignoring them leaves the warrants a chance to catch up on the defendant in unforeseen and undesirable ways.
Fairfax criminal lawyer on the multiple ways an arrest warrant can get issued and the necessity to act promptly on any arrest warrant
Arrest warrants ordinarily get issued as an arrest warrant or Virginia capias as a result of criminal charges being issued, not acting on a notice to be served a court summons, non-appearance in court by defendants, (whether or not the defendant knew about the court date), non-appearance in court by subpoenaed witnesses or summonsed jurors, and, more rarely, court orders for essential court trial witnesses to be detained pending trial after a judicial determination that they are too much of a flight risk otherwise.
Once a person knows that s/he has an court date or arrest warrant, the person needs to act promptly with each. For court dates, it is ideal to learn what needs to be done legally to change or avoid such a court appearance, if wanted, for instance, due to being far away from the court, work obligations, or other time or distance constraints. As a Fairfax, Virginia, criminal lawyer, I know that the arraignment date in most counties requires no court appearance of either the defendant nor the defense lawyer if the lawyer timely and correctly enters his or her written appearance with the court. I know that, on the other hand, that initial appearances for criminal cases in federal court usually are mandatory for the defendant.
Arrest warrants call for consulting with a lawyer
Once a person knows or has reason to know that s/he has a warrant for his or her arrest, it is ideal to consult with a qualified lawyer on the matter, to determine whether to seek court action to withdraw the arrest warrant or to arrange to get the warrant served on the defendant. The ideal way to have the warrant served is, without delay (unless advisable first to wait on any filed motion to withdraw the warrant) to have a lawyer accompany the defendant to turn himself or herself in on the warrant, after the lawyer has advised the defendant what to say to the Virginia court magistrate or other applicable court authority (always declining to discuss the alleged crime, but ready to show how the defendant is not an escape risk nor danger to anyone) and after the lawyer is ready to schedule and appear in court for a bond hearing in the event bond or pretrial release is initially denied.
This is part one of a three-part blog article. See part two here.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz since 1991 has been defending those accused of DUI, drug offenses, marijuana, sex offenses, felonies and misdemeanors. For a confidential consultation with Jon, please call his staff at 703-383-1100.