Having an arrest warrant issued by the Court in your name can be very stressful. An arrest warrant can be issued by the court for allegations of committing a crime, an alleged violation of probation, or for failing to appear in court for a traffic or criminal matter. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help advise you of your rights and the steps involved in getting an arrest warrant resolved.
If caught early enough, a Motion to Quash the warrant can be filed. A Motion to Quash essentially asks the Judge to recall the warrant and to set a court date. This motion usually presents a list of reasons why the arrestee should be allowed to appear at a future court date without paying a bond or being detained in jail. The success of a Motion to Quash depends on many factors, such as the timing of the motion, the alleged facts surrounding the charges and the accused’s background, such as employment history, family responsibilities and overall character.
Another important factor is if the accused has a lawyer. Judges know that a person who cares enough about their legal situation to seek the help of a lawyer, is a person who will be more likely to show up in court at a future date and time.
If a Motion to Quash is unsuccessful, the next step is usually for the accused to turn him or herself into the police. Having a lawyer on call or by your side when you do turn yourself in is ideal. A lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected and argue on your behalf for favorable pretrial release conditions. Every warrant either has a pre-set bond amount, or gives the District Court Commissioner the discretion to determine the bond, if any. Even if there is a preset bond amount, a District Court Commissioner may be able to change it. A District Court Commissioner can release an accused on his or her own personal recognizance, on pretrial supervision, on an unsecured or secured bond.
Getting released on one’s own personal recognizance is the preferred method. Achieving this is not always an easy feat and may be impossible based on the alleged charges. Typically, one accused of certain crimes will not be released without a bail, and may not be given a bail at all. In making pretrial release decisions, the Commissioner is required to weight factors set out in Maryland Rule 4-216. These factors include:
- Nature and circumstances of the offense charged
- Nature of the evidence against the defendant
- Potential sentence upon conviction
- Defendant’s prior record of appearance at court, including flight and any prior failures to appear at previous court dates
- Defendant’s family ties, employment status, history and financial resources
- Defendant’s reputation and character, including mental condition
- Defendant’s length of time of residence in the community, recommendations from pre trial services, the State’s Attorneys’ Office, and the defendant’s attorney
- Danger of the defendant to the victim, another person, or community
- Danger of the defendant to himself or herself
- Any other factors bearing on willful failure to appear and safety of the victim, another person or community
- Prior convictions and/or prior adjudications of delinquency that occurred within three years of the date the defendant is charged as an adult.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We want to help and we will fight for you.
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