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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 36164
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
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I have a bench warrant issued arrest due to charges

Customer Question

Hello, I have a bench warrant issued for my arrest due to charges filed against me when I was 17. After my arrest and release I moved in the next couple of weeks to Florida. During that time my focus was simply to get my life back on track. And, I have been able to do that.
I am 19 now and just found out about the charges when I came back to GA. When calling the DA's office to find out my next steps I was informed that I could turn myself in to the court without an attorney and that my court date would not be until August. I was also told that I could turn myself into court with an attorney present. I am 19 and I don't have the financial capability to afford an attorney on my own and I do not have anyone available to help me pay for an attorney either. Is there anything I can do to prevent being put in Jail until my Court Date in August? How can I meet with a public defender prior to turning myself in? Is it possible that I will not have to sit in jail for a Month or more while waiting for a court date or public defender to be assigned to me? Thank you for any assistance you provide.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Can you tell me what the initial charges were that you were arrested on?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Misdemeanor - Possession of Two Grams of Marijuana
2. 2nd Degree Possession of Counterfeit Money - Fraud - The fake money was three $100 Dollar Bills that I was unaware were fake.Thank you so much
for asssisting me.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thank you for that information... Some of the things I am going to tell you aren't really great news, but I have an ethical and professional duty to tell customers the truth, even if it isn't great..
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"" Is there anything I can do to prevent being put in Jail until my Court Date in August?""
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If you turn yourself in, then it may be unlikely that the judge would agree to release you on a bond because of the fugitive warrant that is currently outstanding. So it is entirely possible that he would order you to stay in jail until your initial court hearing.
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""How can I meet with a public defender prior to turning myself in?""
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You can try to contact their office, but they might not agree to talk with you because they only represent clients once a judge formally appoints them to the case. So if you were arrested and had no money, the judge would appoint them to represent you. But that doesn't help much at this point..
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""Is it possible that I will not have to sit in jail for a Month or more while waiting for a court date or public defender to be assigned to me?""
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I find this kind of unlikely that you would not be brought before the court for a month or so simply because they have a legal duty to arraign you and make any bond decision within a few days after you are taken into custody. So while you would definitely see a judge sooner than a month, that judge may deny bond based on the former failure to appear and your fugitive status..
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With all that said, and I realize you said money was an issue, but about the only way you could avoid getting arrested would be to hire a local criminal defense attorney to contact the judge and prosecutor to see if they would agree to recall the warrant and convert it to a summons so you could return to court without fear of being arrested.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a bench warrant not a fugitive warrant being to the fact that i have a bench warrant what happens when i turn my self in ? Is there any possible way the judge will let me go?
and how long do you think i would have to stay in jail for waiting for court.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
""I have a bench warrant not a fugitive warrant being to the fact that i have a bench warrant what happens when i turn my self in ? Is there any possible way the judge will let me go?""
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A bench warrant IS a fugitive warrant for you failing to appear for court. So you are currently a fugitive legally. It was just issued from the judge's bench rather than through a law enforcement agency.
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And it may be unlikely that a judge would release you unless he set a very high cash bond, maybe $10,000, which would effectively prevent you from getting out unless you or someone else could post it.
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""and how long do you think i would have to stay in jail for waiting for court.""
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You would be arraigned within a few days and a bond decision made. But typically, unless this is a very small community, the judges have court at least once every week or two. So my guess on worst case scenario is 2 weeks, but that is just to appear on the "failure to appear" (FTA) charge. The underlying charges that you didn't appear for are still sitting there unresolved. That is why it may be unlikely that they would allow a bond because now instead of 2 charges, you have 3 including the FTA.
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So as I mentioned, about the only way to not get arrested is to get a local criminal law attorney to see if he can convince the judge to recall the warrant and convert to a summons.
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thanks
Barrister