If you’re Googling “what to wear to a court hearing?” it’s likely that you have…
Learning that you have a warrant out for your arrest can be a scary, stressful situation. You might want to run, hide, or immediately turn yourself in, or maybe you have no idea what to do. You may feel like you’re totally alone and everyone will turn against you.
However, there are people who want to help you during this stressful time: criminal defense attorneys. A criminal defense lawyer won’t turn you in to the police. Rather, they will give you advice on how to proceed, guide you through the process, and advocate for you.
What is a criminal defense attorney?
Criminal defense attorneys are lawyers who represent criminal defendants, or citizens that have been accused of crimes. They serve as the accused person’s guide, protector, and confidant. In other words, they help people facing criminal charges.
There are two kinds of criminal defense attorneys: court-appointed and privately retained. The government provides court-appointed attorneys to those that qualify, while the defendant pays for private attorneys. No matter who pays for the criminal defense attorney, they are there to assist and advocate for the defendant.
What do criminal defense attorneys do?
A criminal defense attorney protects clients accused of crimes, a job that comes with many responsibilities. To ensure your rights are protected a defense lawyer might do the following:
- Research and investigate the case
- Negotiate with prosecutors
- Interview witnesses
- Evaluate the legitimacy of the evidence
- Formulate pleas
- Analyze prosecutors’ cases
- Assess potential sentences
- Represent defendant at trial
When looking to hire a defense lawyer, it’s important that you find an attorney with the experience and resources to see your case through.
Code of Confidentiality
Since criminal defense attorneys primarily work with people accused of committing a crime, they must adhere to a code of confidentiality called attorney-client privilege. This code prevents them from sharing any information a client discloses without permission from the client. Moreover, the code states that lawyers should make efforts to protect against unauthorized disclosure of any information.
However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule. Lawyers may reveal a client’s information to prevent another crime that causes death, injury, property damage, or harm to the financial interests of another person.
If you have a warrant for your arrest, a criminal defense attorney is your friend. They have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to get the best outcome for you. Don’t be afraid to talk to a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime; they are here to help!
What is an arrest warrant?
A warrant is a legal document signed by a judge or magistrate that allows police officers to arrest the person (or people) named in the warrant. Warrants can only be issued if there is probable cause that the person committed a crime. Basically, if a reasonable person thinks someone might have committed a crime based on the evidence, there is probable cause.
An arrest warrant may also state what crime was committed, in what manner the person may be arrested, and what bail is needed to gain freedom. It’s important to know that any police officer can act on an arrest warrant in any place, such as the person’s place of work, their home, or on the side of the road. Some warrants can even be acted on by officers in other states. Warrants do not expire and, most of the time, are not cleared until the person goes to jail.
What should I do if I have a warrant out for my arrest?
If you hear that you have a warrant for your arrest, the first thing you should do is conduct a search to confirm. In Texas, you can use the Criminal History Search Service, call the country clerk’s office, or contact the Sherriff’s office. If you find this process confusing or are not sure where the warrant may be held, a criminal defense attorney can help you with this.
Once you’ve done your search, your next step is to contact a criminal defense attorney. Talking to a criminal defense attorney is crucial because they will be able to look at your case, give legal advice, and help you cope with any fear or anxiety you may feel. Further, they may help you with contacting a bond agency. There are many benefits to hiring a criminal defense attorney, including:
- Avoid giving incriminating statements to the police
- Secure representation early
- Find out charges, bond amount, court dates, etc.
- Help connect you to bond companies
- Secure witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Plan when, where, and how you will be taken into custody
- Negotiate lower bail or release on a personal recognizance bond
Can I get the arrest warrant cleared without going to jail?
There are several ways warrants can be cleared; however, every person’s situation is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. A warrant can be cleared through:
- Serving jail time
- Paying the ticket (Class C matters only)
- Hiring an attorney to post a surety bond on your behalf
Deciding how to proceed in these matters is tricky. You don’t want to make the wrong decision, so it’s best to hire an attorney that has the knowledge and experience to help you make the right choice.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
A criminal arrest can affect your ability to secure employment and even your marriage. The right team by your side will do what they can to ensure your rights are protected. We will see to it that you get the best resolution possible for your specific case. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, don’t panic. We have knowledgeable, experienced, and caring criminal defense attorneys who can help you. We will explain everything to you in a way that you understand, and we will make sure that your voice is heard.
Contact us today to set up your free consultation. We care, and we can help.