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Accused of a Crime: Should I Turn Myself In?

September 28th, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,You should never seek to hide from the police or try and avoid getting arrested when you know you have a warrant for your arrest. Evading arrest, revisiting arrest, and obstruction of justice are all serious crimes in Illinois. Turning yourself into the police when you have been charged with a crime is often a wise move, if done properly.

Difference between Being Accused and Being Charged

You may want to do the right thing, but you are not sure if you are required to turn yourself in or not. If you have been accused of a crime, that is, someone has said that you committed a crime, but you have not been charged with a crime, you do not have to turn yourself in.

You have the right to not incriminate yourself. This means even if the police wish to question you, you can remain silent instead of admitting you broke the law. You should still seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney, but you are a free man or woman.

If you have been given a citation, have a court date, or have been indicted, you have been charged with a crime. Most of the time, if you have a court date scheduled you only have to show up for court, there is no need to turn yourself into the police.

However, if there is a warrant out for your arrest – this will usually happen in the case of felonies – it may be in your best interest to turn yourself into the police. It is never okay to try and hide from the police. However, you must first talk with a lawyer before committing to any course of action.

Planning Ahead

While it is a crime to try and evade arrest, it is not a crime to plan ahead for when you are arrested. If you plan on turning yourself in, make sure you have things lined up. You will probably need to post bail. You should have someone who knows you are going to turn yourself in be ready to post your bail so you can reduce the amount of time you spend in custody. Make sure you do not have anything illegal, dangerous, or suspicious on your person when you turn yourself in. This includes drugs and weapons.

You should work out a plan with your attorney for the best time to turn yourself in. Usually early in the week will be better than on a weekend.

What Happens Next

After you turn yourself in you will be arrested. Depending on your circumstances, you may be released after you are booked. You may need to first post bail. You may have to spend some time in custody until you have a bail hearing. A criminal defense attorney can go over your specific circumstances with you.

You do not have to face the police by yourself. If you have been charged or accused of a crime, meet with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Your freedom could be at stake.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=53&ActID=1876

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