If you are facing criminal charges but have not yet been arrested, you could be panicking and wondering what you should do. You may want to turn yourself in, but you might be nervous about doing so, and you might not really know how to do it. These are a few helpful tips that can help you in the process of turning yourself in for criminal charges.
Consider Why You Should Turn Yourself In
You might not actually want to turn yourself in, even if you know there is a warrant for your arrest. Instead, you might want to try to dodge law enforcement, or you could just be thinking about waiting until law enforcement comes to get you instead of turning yourself in. Turning yourself in can help you avoid the embarrassment of being arrested at work, in front of your family, or in public. You won't have to worry about looking over your shoulder, wondering when you're going to be arrested. Plus, in some cases, being cooperative in this way might help you get a lower bond amount or could help you look better in court.
Call Ahead for More Information
Typically, you can call the sheriff's office, local clerk of court, or local jail to find out whether or not there is a warrant out for your arrest. If there is a warrant for your arrest, you can typically find out more about where you can turn yourself in, how much your bond amount is going to be, and more.
Hire a Lawyer to Assist You
Even though you can call and find out more about turning yourself in yourself, you'll probably want to meet with a lawyer before you actually do it. They can guide you through the process, potentially help with a bond reduction, and more.
Make Personal Arrangements
You may need to make some personal arrangements before turning yourself in to the jail. You may want to ask for time off of work and make arrangements for your kids or pets to be taken care of while you're in jail, for example.
Get in Contact With a Bail Bondsman
Even though your lawyer might be able to help you get a more reasonable bond amount so that you can get out of jail without needing as much money, you may need the help of a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman can meet you and your lawyer at the jail when you turn yourself in. This helps you get bonded out more quickly. Contact a bail bond agent to learn more about this.
Turn Yourself in at the Right Time
The time and day when you turn yourself in can make a big difference in how quickly your case can be handled and you can bail yourself out of jail. You may want to avoid turning yourself in on the weekend, for example, since there might not be a judge present to set your bond, and the jail might be busier and more crowded. A weekday morning may be a better choice.