Thinking of Turning Yourself In? What You Should Know
When a warrant has been issued for your arrest, it can be a startling ordeal. Perhaps you’ve dealt with such a situation before, or perhaps you’re entirely new to the process. Either way, you may be thinking about turning yourself in.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to turn yourself in. You can wait until the authorities come to arrest you, but the decision is entirely up to you. Should you decide to turn yourself in, consider the following tips before you do.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
Regardless of whether you’ve been charged with a minor or major crime, hiring an attorney is always in your best interests. He or she can direct you in what to say, how to act, and how to defend yourself against the prosecution. Should there be a hearing to set a bond, your attorney may be able to lower the bond amount or dismiss the bond completely.
Turn Yourself In at the Right Time
You are free to turn yourself in whenever you choose. But if you aren’t fond of spending a lot of time in the county jail, you may want to carefully choose when you turn yourself in. Mondays and Fridays are often the most inconvenient days, so you’ll want to aim for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
On Mondays, law enforcement and county staff may be busy dealing with the weekend’s accumulation of arrests and may spend much of the day processing these arrests. On Fridays, you most likely won’t see a magistrate or judge before the end of the day. As a result, your bond may not be set by the weekend, and you could spend a few extra days in jail.
Even if you have an attorney, lawyers can’t speed up the bond setting process. They can most certainly help you in the bond hearing, but they can’t force a meeting with a magistrate or judge to get you home for the weekend.
So, if you turn yourself in early in the day and avoid busier days of the week, you can minimize your stay in jail and get back home more quickly. Contact Absolute Bail Bonds and they can advise you as to what day and time is best to turn yourself in.
Dress Comfortably and Only Bring What You Need
When you turn yourself in, you don’t need to dress up or bring much with you. Be sure you have an official photo ID with you, and you can bring cash, debit cards, or credit cards to post bail if necessary. Be sure not to bring any items that are considered contraband, such as pocket knives, nail files, and tobacco products. These items will most likely be taken during intake.
If you have a medical condition that requires specific medication, bring your medication with you. If your condition requires any special equipment or treatments, you may want to call the county jail and ask about their medical policies. You want to be sure you have what you need until you’re released.
Wear comfortable clothes that won’t wrinkle or pose a safety issue. Law enforcement officers may be forced to remove any belts, drawstrings or shoelaces because they can be a safety concern in jail. If you’re required to wear a jumpsuit during your stay, your clothes may be sealed in a bag and bunched up as a result. So, a good outfit to wear before you turn yourself in would consist of a t-shirt, jeans, and some slip-on shoes.
If you need reading glasses, you may be permitted to bring them with you. Also, keep in mind that you won’t be allowed to have your cell phone in jail, so it may be a good idea to write any necessary phone numbers on a small piece of paper to bring with you. This paper shouldn’t be taken during processing.
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
When questioned by any law enforcement personnel, it’s best to stay silent. You’re not required to answer any questions or explain yourself, and staying silent can help your case, no matter what may have happened or what you’ve been charged with.
When being questioned by an officer, simply relay to him or her that you are exercising your right to remain silent. You may even say you’re exercising your right to remain silent until you can meet and speak with your lawyer.
Even if your intention is to merely set the record straight, your words can be used against you in a court of law. You can easily say something wrong or poorly word a single answer. Such simple mistakes can make it easier for the prosecution to build a case against you, so rely on your criminal defense attorney for help.
Your lawyer can help you navigate the waters of police questioning and keep you from saying anything that will be used against you.
If a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you may be considering turning yourself in. And while the choice is entirely up to you, be sure you approach the situation carefully and thoughtfully to avoid unnecessary jail time and needlessly high bond amounts.
A criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce the bail amount for your release, but once the bond is set, depend on a reliable bail bond company for your quick release. At Absolute Bail Bonds, we can help you post bail and swiftly get you home to your family. Just call us when you need us, and we’ll get to work right away.