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If I have warrant out for my arrest should I appear in court?

Glen Burnie, MD |

i was locked up for 2nd degree assault and reckless endangerment (domestic)with a 75k bond then released on pretrial during pretrial i failed multiple drug test and they issued a bench warrant out for me for violation and now my bond is only 25k i dont wanna sit in jail for 3 months til my court date when i wont even go to jail for the charges i have no priors and i believe im innocent of the charges in the first place

or should i just turn myself in now or like a day before my court i plan on going to court just not jail

Attorney Answers 3


Retain an attorney who can move the court to recall the warrant.

My response to your question is a generic response and should not be construed as controlling to your case. I can not effectively advise about your case without knowing all the facts. Additionally, my response does not create an attorney-client relationship. You can contact my office to schedule an appointment if you would like to have me represent you.

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If you have a summons, then it is a court order to appear. Not only is it contempt to ignore a court order, it would probably influence the court's decision, if there is a sentencing. While you control whether you do violate the law, you do not control whether the state pursues a charge, whether the court or a jury finds that you violate the law, and what the court decides is the appropriate sentence for a conviction. You should not assume that because you are actually innocent that you might not be convicted and face sentencing.

If you have a warrant, you should surrender, because whether you surrender or the authorities arrest you suggests to the court whether you might be a good candidate for probation or whether it must confine you. Second degree assault carries ten years in prison. Reckless endangerment carries five. Arrest or surrender might affect the decision whether to release or detain you pending trial too.

If you surrender, then you should make arrangements for bail and plan the timing so that possible release is not delayed. Consider that while commissioners are available 24/7, while judges are only available for bail reviews Monday through Friday and not on holidays. You can check what you bail on the warrant is at Maryland Case Search.

Information in the reply is provided as a public service. It is neither a comprehensive statement of the law nor legal advice, and no one should rely on it as such. If you have a legal problem or question, you should consult with an attorney, who can investigate the particular circumstances of your situation. Responding to a post does not constitute legal representation. I am not your lawyer, until we make an agreement and I receive my fee. Beware that posts and replies are not confidential. Anyone can read them.

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I think that Mr. Welch covered the important points. Let me add just a couple of things. Implied in your question was a belief that your case would be resolved in your favor on your next court date. How do you know? Let me guess: you believe the states witness will fail to appear. Maybe you are right. But how do you know that the state will not ask for and receive a postponement on that date? In my experience, DV cases are rarely dismissed or stet'ed on first court dates in district court. I usually expect to see at least one postponement request from the state.

I don't think you will benefit from ignoring or delaying action on this problem. I suggest you either retain counsel to help you get the warrant recalled or arrange a turn-in at your county detention center. You'll want to have a bail bondsman ready to act on your behalf. Your lawyer will probably suggest a mid-week turn-in.

The scenario you are potentially facing if you don't take action has you appearing in court for your scheduled date after three months on the lam. You'll arrive thinking you've beat the system, prepared to win by default. Inside of your court file will be a Pretrial Services letter reminding the judge that you failed to comply. It'll be the first thing in the file. The judge will also see the court's JIS printout indicating that you have an active Pretrial rescind warrant. Then you'll see the state's attorney asking for a postponement in order to secure a witness, medical records, or something else they think will help their case. They'll likely know that any postponement will subject you to arrest on the Pretrial rescind warrant. Will the judge deny the state's request for a postponement and decide instead to help out a guy who blew off Pretrial Services and then ducked a warrant? I wouldn't expect good treatment from the judge.

Good luck.

--- I'm not your lawyer. The above post is not legal advice and should not be used as such. I don't know the necessary details of your case or anything about your personal background. I encourage you to seek legal representation for all matters where you believe your liberty or property interests may be at risk.

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