Seasoned Legal Assistance To Navigate The Arrest Warrant System
Having an arrest warrant issued by the court in your name can be very stressful. The court can issue an arrest warrant 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 resolving an arrest warrant.
If caught early enough, it might be possible to file a motion to quash the warrant to ask the judge to recall the warrant and 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. However, 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, like 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 them to the police. Having a lawyer on call or by your side when you turn yourself in is ideal. A lawyer can help protect your rights and argue on your behalf for favorable pretrial release conditions. Every warrant either has a preset 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 their own recognizance, on pretrial supervision, or on an unsecured or secured bond.
Other Pretrial Resources And Decisions
The preferred method is getting released on one’s own personal recognizance. Achieving this is not always easy and may be impossible based on the alleged charges. Typically, one accused of certain crimes will not be released without bail and may not be given bail at all.
In making pretrial release decisions, the commissioner will weigh factors set out in Maryland Rule 4-216, such as the following:
- The reason behind the charge and surrounding circumstances
- The evidence available against the defendant
- Potential sentence if an individual is convicted
- Whether the defendant has a record of previous appearances before the court, failure to appear or attempted to escape to avoid appearing (“flight to avoid”) before the court
- The personal history of a defendant, including their past and present employment, family ties and financial resources
- The defendant’s reputation and character, including their mental condition
- The defendant’s length of time living in the community and the state
- Recommendations from pretrial services, the state’s attorney’s office, and the defendant’s attorney
- If a defendant poses a danger to a victim, another person or a community
- If a defendant poses a danger or threat to themselves
- Any other factors that may represent a risk regarding the defendant’s intention not to appear before a court (willful failure to appear), the safety of the victim, a person different from the victim or the community
- Prior convictions adult or minor faced three years before the date in which such a defendant was charged with a crime as an adult
Any criminal charge has the potential to change your life substantially. It is therefore vital to have the advice and representation you need to guide your decision-making. The attorneys at Ortega Law have the determination and experience to help you decide the next steps and how to build a solid defense for you or your loved one. From our Pasadena office, we serve clients throughout Anne Arundel County.