If the law has issued a warrant for your arrest, you need to know what steps you should take next. When you face criminal charges, you don't want to make mistakes that could interfere with your ability to get a fair trial. Here is some information that will help you through the process.
1. Understand Your Miranda Rights
If you have been issued an arrest warrant, understand your Miranda rights before the law takes you into custody. Your Miranda rights don't just apply once you've been formally arrested. Law enforcement should read your Miranda warning to you the moment you feel that you are no longer free to leave the area. Here are some things you need to understand about your Miranda rights.
Your Miranda rights allow you to remain silent, which means you don't need to answer questions unless you choose to do so. Law enforcement officials cannot use threats of violence, intimidation, or coercion to get you to speak to them.
Your Miranda rights also allow you to freely communicate with law enforcement officials, should you decide to. However, you need to understand that if you do answer questions, anything you say can be used as part of the case against you.
If you do choose to speak to investigators, your Miranda rights allow you to cease communication at any time. Once you decide to cease communications, investigators must stop questioning you. You do need to know that if you choose to answer some questions, while remaining silent for others, investigators can use that silence against you in court.
Have an Attorney
If you've been arrested or detained for interrogation, you have the right to have an attorney with you during questioning — even if you can't afford to hire one on your own. As soon as the law detains you for interrogation or arrests you, let investigators know that you want an attorney.
2. Understand Bail Reduction
If you face arrest on a warrant, the court will set your bail at one of your first court appearances. Once bail has been set, you'll be able to arrange for a bond release. Your initial bail amount might be set higher than you expected. However, that doesn't mean that the amount will remain that high. Your attorney can request a bail reduction.
During the bail hearing, the court will give your attorney the opportunity to provide evidence to show why your bail should be reduced. Depending on the severity of the charges against you, your attorney may be able to have the bail requirement removed altogether. If that happens, you'll be released on your own recognizance. Don't attempt to arrange for a bail bond until after the bail reduction hearing.
3. Understand Rules Regarding Bodily Samples
If you are required to provide bodily samples as part of your arrest — whether for urine, blood, hair, or saliva — you do not have the right to refuse. This is particularly true if the court has ordered that bodily samples be collected, or investigators have obtained a warrant for the collection of samples.
If you refuse to comply with a request for bodily samples, you could face additional charges. You should know that you do have the right to discuss the collection of bodily fluids before you comply. That way, you can be sure that a warrant or court order is in place.
If you have an active warrant out for your arrest, the information here will help you prepare for what will happen next. If you need legal representation prior to your arrest, contact us at Mark J. Geiger, Attorney at Law. We're here to help.