The Fourth Amendment prohibits searches or seizures that are considered “unreasonable.” However, one way that law enforcement can get around this prohibition is to get a search or an arrest warrant. Warrants are acquired behind the scene, between the police and prosecutors, on the one hand, and a judge or magistrate, on the other. As a result, you typically will not be aware that there is a warrant out for your arrest or authorizing a search of your property.
Every once in awhile, people become aware of a pending warrant for their arrest. This can happen if law enforcement is investigating a crime that involves you and several others. If someone else gets arrested, they can learn that there is also a warrant out for your arrest, and notify you or those close to you.
If this is the case, and you learn of your own arrest warrant before law enforcement have a chance to apprehend you, how you react can be crucial for the eventual outcome of your case.
Step 1: Contact an Attorney Immediately
Getting legal counsel involved as early as possible in a criminal investigation can go a long way to protecting your civil rights and ensuring an optimal outcome in your case. Once U.S. Marshals come to serve their arrest warrant and take you into custody, they will carefully note your every move as they try to gather evidence and build their case against you.
Step 2: Turn Yourself in
Unless living on the run is appealing to you, surrendering to law enforcement on your own terms, rather than waiting for them to come arrest you, can make things go much better in the long run. Not only does it tell the court that you are not a flight risk – significantly improving your chance for bail – it also allows you to control the situation and make sure that you have your attorney at your side when the arrest is made.
Having your attorney with you at this crucial time tells law enforcement that you mean business, and can make them think twice before playing fast and loose with your constitutional rights. Being accompanied by a skilled criminal defense attorney at this point can mean that you do not consent to a search by mistake, or reveal information that could be misinterpreted and used against you in trial. It also lets your attorney contact the court and prosecutors to schedule an initial appearance sooner, and possibly a detention hearing, as well. Having these earlier, rather than later, means you can ask to be released on bail sooner than you normally would be able to.
The Federal Criminal Law Center in Atlanta
Learning that there is an arrest warrant out for you can be a shocking discovery. It means that your life is about to change radically for the next few months, as you fight against serious charges that carry serious consequences. Contact the Federal Criminal Law Center in the Atlanta area for experienced criminal defense against federal charges.