The answer is it depends. When law enforcement officers decide whether to arrest someone or simply allow them to surrender they consider a number of factors. These would include whether the person is a flight risk, whether an arrest would deter others from committing similar crimes, whether they believe that a search incident to an arrest would result in the seizure of useful information, such as a cell phone or Blackberry, or some other good reason or some bad reason, like looking for publicity for an elected official, wanting to punish or embarrass the person arrested, wanting to pressure the person into an early plea, etc. One of the factors considered is the seriousness of the crime, one or two misdemeanors are not too serious, several hundred are. Why do you ask?
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As you might imagine, this answer will change depending upon the jurisdiction handling the case. Your best bet is to contact an attorney routinely practicing in Shasta County and asking them whether that jurisdiction will allow a negotiated turn in, or a manner to post bail without being arrested in the traditional sense. This will have the effect of lifting the arrest warrant. Most jurisidictions I've dealt with simply will not negotiate the details of a case unless and until the target has turned himself in to authorities. otherwise, that person is considered a fugitive. Once the turn in is taken care of, negotiations and the exchange of information can commence.
I currently have a similar case pending. My client was not arrested and , as the client appeared for arraignment as instructed, the client remains out of custody.
This type of case generally involves a large number of people and different counties. The law permits the charging agency (prosecution) to choose the county to file in.
If the prosecuting agency is the attorney general and a warrant is outstaning, I would very strongly suggest the person contact and retain counsel. Generally, an attorney can get the case on calendar faster than the defendant. Speed is the friend of the defendant here. Appearance without being in custody is a strong indicator that you will appear in the future and basis for the court to recall the warrant and alow you to remain out of custody on your OR.