In most cases, you would not know that there is a warrant for your arrest until the police come to arrest you. However, if you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, violated the terms of your probation, or missed a court hearing, you may expect that you will be arrested in the future. Here are the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
Two Types of Warrants in Virginia
There are two types of warrants in Virginia. The first is an arrest warrant. A judge would sign it after the police collected enough evidence to charge you with committing a crime.
The second type of warrant is a bench warrant, which a judge can issue if you violate the terms of probation, fail to comply with court orders, or miss a court hearing. It is also referred to as a capias warrant if you fail to appear in court. A bench warrant gives the police the authority to detain and arrest you.
Steps to Take If There Is a Warrant for Your Arrest
You need to take immediate actions to protect your legal rights when you discover that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. These are the first steps you should take:
- Call a lawyer. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can advise you on what you should do and be present when the police interrogate you. They can also mount a defense for you—even if you are guilty—that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
- Arrange for bond. If you were arrested for a serious offense, you would most likely have to post bond in order to be released from jail. You will need to contact a bail bonds person to arrange for this.
- Turn yourself in. After consulting with your lawyer, you will need to surrender to the police. It is important to do so in the correct jurisdiction so that you do not have to remain in jail for any longer than is necessary.
- Remain silent. You should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. Any statements you make to the police could be used against you. You should also not discuss your criminal case with a cellmate or on the telephone at the jail.
Is there a warrant out for your arrest in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our contact form to learn how our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can help you achieve the best outcome in your case.