If there has been a warrant issued for your arrest, it is because the police believe that you have committed an offence. This could be for a number of reasons, including having failed to attend court as directed, breaching a condition of your release, or if the police suspect you have committed another offence. A warrant which has been properly approved by a judge or justice of the peace gives the police the power to arrest the person named on the warrant.
If you find out that a warrant has been issued for you, the best thing to do is to turn yourself in to the police. This is not an admission of guilt, but shows the courts that you are cooperative and forthcoming. This in turn may cause the courts to look on you favourably when deciding if you should be granted bail.
Before you turn yourself in, you should always talk to a lawyer.
A lawyer can help you contact the police to arrange to turn yourself in. Your lawyer can also help you make all of the preparations needed before you turn yourself in and develop a plan of release. Before you turn yourself in you should write down phone numbers for family and friends who might be willing to be a surety for you and provide this list to your lawyer.
After taking you into custody, the police may choose to let you leave on an appearance notice, a promise to appear and/or an undertaking. If they do not release you, then you must be taken before a judge or justice of the peace within 24 hours of your arrest (yes, even on weekends). Not doing so may constitute an unreasonable delay. At this point, your matter will be considered for release by a Crown Attorney. You could be released on consent or you may require a bail hearing.
The best time to turn yourself in is before 6:00 AM on a weekday. That way if you are held for a bail hearing, you will be more likely to have your bail hearing that day. If you turn yourself in late in the day, you may have to spend the night in custody before you can be brought before the court.
If you have reason to believe that a warrant exists for your arrest and are confused by the process or have any questions, contact Cassandra or Kristen at DeMelo Law.