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Freeing criminal defendants after arrest- Fairfax lawyer comments

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Freeing Virginia criminal and DUI defendants after arrest calls for a full court press, says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Freeing Virginia criminal and DUI defendants can become tougher to accomplish the more violently serious is the criminal accusation, the more the defendant’s criminal records says he has missed court dates (called failure to appear), and the more serious have been the defendant’s prior convictions. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that once a defendant has been arrested, the defendant and/or his family and friends go into full gear to to pursue the defendant’s release. If you are a Virginia criminal defendant with an open arrest warrant, read this article. Likewise, if a friend or relative of yours is currently arrested or locked up for a pending Virginia criminal charge, read this.

Should I turn myself in on an open Virginia criminal arrest warrant?

Should you turn yourself in on an open arrest warrant? As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that risk of flight is a consideration made by the Virginia court magistrate or judge who is considering your pretrial release conditions. If you turn yourself in, you show that you are less than a flight risk than otherwise, and your actions may serve to be freeing yourself from pretrial incarceration. Should you turn yourself in only with the assistance of a Virginia criminal defense attorney? Ideally yes in many instances. However, the longer you wait to turn yourself in, the more possible it may be that the arrest warrant will catch up with you, whether by active efforts by law enforcement, or by a chance encounter with police, for instance when you are stopped for a moving violation. Be aware that Sunday through Wednesday can be your ideal days to turn yourself in == at least in Northern Virginia and other courts where judges sit daily — , because if the magistrate denies you bond, then you can see if a judge grants you bond at your arraignment the next day, and can then file for a bond hearing to be held the next business day. Ideally you will have a Virginia criminal lawyer waiting in the wings to appear in court to advocate for you to be released on the least onerous terms and conditions pending your Virginia trial or felony preliminary hearing date.

What should I say and not say to the court magistrate or judge reviewing my bail / pretrial release status and deciding whether to be freeing me?

If you consult with a relevantly qualified Virginia criminal lawyer before turning yourself in on an open Virginia arrest warrant, for purposes of pursuing freeing you, that lawyer can walk you through the steps of what to do and say and what not to do and say with the police, the court magistrate, and a judge. You can ask your lawyer to write a “to whom it may concern” letter for the magistrate and judge to see, that lays out why you should be released with the least restrictive pretrial release conditions. Decide with your potential lawyer whether that attorney will accompany you to turn yourself in on an open Virginia arrest warrant, will stay around after you turn yourself in (and will speak with the magistrate deciding the arrestee’s pretrial release terms and conditions of release), or even wait until your release. I know that I ordinarily tell my clients to say nothing to the magistrate related to their possible guilt or innocence (and watch out if you answer a question that does so relate, without your knowing so), but to reveal their general background as asked (the proverbial name, rank and serial number questions), and to state they have strong ties to the community (if true) because that makes them less of a flight risk. Once ordered releasable, you want your Virginia Recognizance / release paper to say you may leave the commonwealth of Virginia. (If not, I can subsequently go to court with my client to argue the same.)

What can I do for my relative who has been arrested and not released?

As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I receive phone calls from relatives of Virginia criminal defendants who have been arrested moments earlier, and those who have been locked up for longer than that, all of course wanting to be freeing the inmate  The good thing about such phone calls is that the Virginia criminal defendant has a family or friend support system that is already in progress. When the criminal defendant has been arrested moments ago, I can talk with the relatives about getting me or one of my colleagues (when I am not available) to go to the magistrate’s office to speak with the magistrate. When the defendant has been locked up for longer than that, I can talk about setting the matter in for a bond hearing.

How private are my phone calls made with a Virginia criminal inmate?

Expect that all your phone calls and other conversations with Virginia criminal inmates are recorded. Sometimes it is important to remind them the call is being recorded, lest they mention anything in a recorded fashion that ends up biting them in the butt.  Among the benefits of freeing yourself up pending trial in Virginia is not having your private conversations recorded by the police when not in jail (that is so long as you are not subject to a search warrant to eavesdrop on you). Phone calls between lawyers and Virginia inmates are not automatically confidential unless the lawyer confirms that the conversation is on a non-recorded phoneline.

Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz relentlessly pursues your best defense against Virginia DUI, misdemeanor and felony prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 for your free in-person initial consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending prosecution.