When the police are investigating suspected criminal activity, they may eventually seek and obtain an arrest warrant if they believe (as does the judge who signs it) that they have compiled enough evidence against you.
If an arrest warrant is signed by the judge, the police will come looking for you. The warrant entitles them to come to your home and place you under arrest.
You may not know that a warrant has been issued. However, sometimes if you have been aware of an ongoing investigation, you may know (or at least suspect) that a warrant has been issued.
Now, this is a frightening time, but it is a critical time. If you were ever to retain a criminal defense attorney this is the time to do it. The reason is because it is important that you not evade law enforcement. A warrant doesn't just go away. It will literally follow you around forever until you deal with it. And just like many things, the longer you wait to address it, the worse it gets. In the State Attorney's eyes, you have failed to turn yourself in and have made yourself a fugitive.
So if there is a warrant, your criminal attorney can contact police and schedule a surrender. If the charge is a bondable offense, then you will be booked and should be able to immediately post your bond.
If you leave a warrant unresolved, it will haunt you. Even if it is a misdemeanor warrant. Not only do you risk getting arrested every time you leave the house (and possibly extradited to Florida if you have an open felony warrant and leave the state), you will be denied Social Security benefits and could possibly be rejected from potential employment.
The reason having an attorney during the surrender process is so important is because this is when the cops will want to talk with you the most. If you are unrepresented, they will possibly scare you into giving them a statement or confession.
Once you have voluntarily surrendered, you have just done something that is inconsistent with the actions of a guilty man. If your case goes to a jury trial, that fact will come out.
Also, by surrendering on the warrant, the prosecutors may be more likely to offer you a favorable plea bargain due to your willingness to turn yourself in rather than evade police.
You shouldn't wait until the warrant is issued to hire a criminal lawyer. If you are the subject of any criminal investigation, large or small, you should retain counsel. Hiring an attorney (or "lawyering up," as the cops like to call it) is not an indication of guilt. It is an intelligent and constitutionally-protected decision to preserve your rights in the face of those who would seek to infringe upon them. Police officers, for the most part, are honest and hardworking. But they want to make their case. And if they have to bend the rules, they will, and they will write their reports to cover up any misdeeds.
Even the toughest veteran detective is afraid of a good criminal defense attorney. The way a represented person is treated by police as opposed to an unrepresented person is treated is like night and day.
I represent clients in Miami-Dade and Broward. If you are the subject of a criminal investigation or if an arrest warrant has been issued for you, don't wait any longer. Call me today.