An active arrest warrant in San Diego means you could be arrested at any time. If you get pulled over for a broken taillight and they run your name, you might go to jail. A car wreck, where police are called, even if it is not your fault, could end with your arrest. Rather than go to jail without any warning, it is often easier to deal with an arrest warrant in San Diego by turning yourself in, allowing you to control when and how you go into custody. Knowing where to do that and having an attorney with you can minimize your stress levels. In addition, an experienced criminal defense attorney knows the system and might be able to get you a reduced bail or even released on your own recognizance after you turn yourself in on the warrant.
The primary benefits of turning yourself in are a potentially lower bond and the ability to plan your case. A bond guarantees you will appear at all of your court dates until your case has been completed. If the police have to track you down and arrest you, the judge deciding your bond amount might view it as your hesitance to face the charges. Judges often consider a reduced bond or an O.R. request for defendants who voluntarily turn themselves in because it is an indicator that they intend to see the case through to its conclusion. Once you are in custody, you have less access to those who can help you with your case, such as witnesses, important documents, or an attorney. A planned surrender gives you time to plan your defense and provide your attorney with names and contact numbers/addresses of potential witnesses as well as other information important to your case.
Typically, you can turn yourself in at your local police department, the county jail, or the court clerk’s office. If you go to your local jail, they will take you into custody and transport you to the county jail. This could take some time depending on who is available to transport. Going to the court clerk’s office during business hours will prompt them to call an officer who will take you into custody and transport you to county jail. This too can take awhile and you may find yourself spending the day in a courtroom handcuffed until all cases have been heard. You will then be taken to the jail with the other inmates. You can also go directly to the county jail and turn yourself in, which skips the need for transport and might save you some time in getting a bond or an O.R. release. If your attorney is with you, he or she might be able to negotiate an O.R. release for you as soon as you are booked.
Regardless of where you turn yourself in, bring your photo identification and bond money (or someone who has bond money). Many bail bond agents are willing to prepare paperwork ahead of time. This way, once your bond is set, it is a fairly quick process to get booked and released with a court date. Contact a San Diego criminal defense attorney immediately if you need to turn yourself in to find out what the procedure is in your jurisdiction.
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