Defaults lead to bail


The holidays are time for family.  The last thing you want to do is to spend your holiday in jail.  One of the most important factors in determining if the judge will set a bail on you is how often you default.  The purpose of bail is to encourage a person to show up in court.  Therefore, if you have a lot of defaults or fail to show up to court when you are supposed to, it is more likely that you will be held on bail. 

Just because you have a warrant on a case doesn’t mean that the judge will automatically set bail.  As not all warrants are created equal or viewed in the same way.  There are two types of warrants on cases.  First, there are default warrants.  A default is entered when a person fails to show up to court when they have notice of court date.  When a person defaults the court will send out a default warrant. 

The second type of warrant is known as a straight warrant.  In the situation of a straight warrant, the defendant has not gotten notice of the court date.  This usually happens because the court was unable to reach the defendant with a letter regarding his or her court date.  

Most if not all judges view straight warrants in a more favorable way than default warrants.  It really makes sense if you think about the differences.  The court assumes that you didn’t know your court date when it issues a straight warrant and assumes you did get notice when it issues a default warrant. 

Essentially, the court views that it is your fault for defaulting on a case and that will increase the likelihood of bail being set.  Verses in the situation where you have a straight warrant, the court assumes you didn’t know therefore it isn’t your fault for not showing up.  In the situation of a straight warrant, the court is less likely to place a bail on you just because you have a warrant. 

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Don’t turn yourself in


You get a letter in the mail; it states that you won free Red Sox tickets.  The letter gives you a place, date and time to redeem your tickets.  You show up and you are arrested because of an outstanding warrant.  You learn a very important lesson, don’t turn yourself in.  If you have an active warrant, a lucky day of winning tickets can get you into handcuffs.

Law enforcement has gotten better at tracking down people with warrants over the years.  If a person has an active warrant, the police are allowed to arrest the person when the see them.  During raids, car stops and searches police will look to see if a person has an active warrant that would require the person to be arrested.

In recent years, many police stations have decided to make their lives easier by getting people with warrants to turn themselves in.  The police departments will usually come up with a fake contest telling the person with the warrant to redeem their prize at a certain location.  When the person with the warrant shows up to redeem their prize, they are taking into custody. 

It is amazing the amount of people the police end up taking into custody through these fake contests.  If you have an active warrant and get a letter in the mail about winning a contest it is important not to try to redeem the prize.  If you do follow the instructions of the contests, the only prize you’ll get is a night in a jail cell.  

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Owing the court money or community service could land you in jail


People don’t like court.  Most people want to get their criminal cases done as soon as possible.  As a result, many people are not paying attention to the judge.  Unfortunately, the clerk will reduce into writing the judge’s orders onto the docket (court’s paperwork). 

 A lot of pleas end up in court fines or community service.  Usually, the judge will allow a certain amount of time for the court fines to be paid or community service to be completed.  If the money or community service is paid by a certain date, the defendant usually doesn’t need to show up to court.  However, if the money isn’t paid or community service isn’t completed, the person needs to show up to court to address the situation. 

 If a person fails to show up to court to address the failure to pay or completion of community service, a warrant will be issued for the person’s arrest.  To add to the person’s problems, the court adds extra fees for removing a warrant. 

 Usually, a person won’t be sent to jail for failure to pay court fees or completing community service.  Most judges will give the person another chance to make good on their promise.  However, if the fines or community service have lagged in the court system for some time, judges have locked up people.  If a person is locked up for failure to pay a court fine, the person will usually get credit for about $30 a day.  Meaning if a person owes a $300 fine, the person would be sitting in jail for 10 days.  So the next time you owe the court a fine or community service, make sure you get it done or else you could end up in jail one day. 

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Bench warrants-Effects, removing one and taking care of it before you get arrested


 There are many reasons why you may have a bench warrant out for your arrest. The most common reason is that you failed to show up in court for a scheduled hearing. The court can also issue a warrant for other reasons, for example, failing to pay a court fine. If a bench warrant is issued, it poses several issues for you.

First, if you are ever stopped by police, you can be arrested. After you are arrested, you will usually be brought into court the next day. Unfortunately, if you are arrested on a Friday night, the earliest you will be brought into court is the following Monday.

There are also other potential issues about having a warrant on your record. The registry may suspend your license, or not allow you to renew your license until the warrant is cleared. The registry can do this right away or years later. Either way, the warrant is going to catch up sooner or later.

For the most part, in order to remove a warrant, you must show up to court. When you fail to appear in court, the court enters a default on the case and issues a warrant for your arrest. Essentially, the case needs to be taken out of default and then the judge needs to lift the warrant.

When removing a default the judge could detain you. One of the factors the judge considers is if you are a flight risk. Depending on what the excuse for failing to appear in court is, the court may decide to hold you in custody. Therefore, it is always smart to have an attorney with you when removing a warrant.

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For More information about this post, here are some interesting websites: Outstanding warrant?

Protect yourself against being jailed for traffic stop… http://www.masscriminaldefense.com/warrant.htm

Attorney that removes warrants in Miami FL http://www.defendyourcase.com/Areas_Of_Practice/Bench_Warrants.aspx

How to get rid of bench warrant http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Get-Rid-Of-A-Bench-Warrant&id=1070221

CA attorneys that deal with warrants http://www.shouselaw.com/bench-warrants.html

San Diego and LA California warrant attorney http://www.hoffmanlawoffice.com/PracticeAreas/RemovingWarrants.asp

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Facing criminal charges, court is tomorrow, what to do


The court process is a long and stressful process for most.  Some of the reasons why the process is difficult are that the system is slow, there are few explanations and the rules and procedures are cumbersome and confusing.  So here are a few tips to keep in mind to make the criminal justice system a little more bearable. 

  1. Keep all your paperwork.  Don’t throw anything out or be careless with any documents that are given to you.  The court and district attorney will usually give you information that is important for your case.  So make sure you keep all the documents that you are given and bring them to your attorney. 
  2. Dress to impress.  This one sounds silly I know, but there are so many people that go to court in sweatshirts, baggy clothes, revealing shirts and other horrific attire that this is worth mentioning.  First impressions are important and the first thing that a judge or DA will notice is your clothing.  Dress like you would if you were going to a very important interview. One judge I know won’t call your case until your shirt is tucked in.  So be smart, dress well and it will win you points. 
  3. Be on time.  This one sounds simple, but if you don’t get to court when your case is called you can be defaulted.  If a default enters it usually comes with a warrant out for your arrest.  People who show up late usually can get the default removed, but also will have to wait until all the other cases are called.  Depending on the court you should be prepared to wait a long time.  Don’t bother with the excuse of bad weather, problems in getting a ride or anything else.  If the judge is there, he expects you to be there. 
  4. No cell phones or talking.  Most courts won’t allow cell phones anymore, so leave them in your car or at home.  Many courts don’t even have a place to keep your stuff while you are at the court, so just don’t bring your phone.  Also be quiet in the court room.  I know you may be pretty bored waiting for your case to be called, but an annoyed or angry judge is bad news. 
  5. Be respectful.  Look, I know you don’t want to be in court, who does?  However, you need to keep your cool and keep your head on straight.  Don’t argue with the DA or judge, don’t swear and don’t make faces.  The last thing you want to happen is for the judge to hold you for contempt. 
  6. Hire an attorney.  The process is stressful and there are many pitfalls.  The stakes are high, the penalties are serious and the case may affect the rest of your life.  Be smart hire a professional and remember these tips. 
  7. Finally, this shouldn’t even be a tip, but I have seen this happen so I will cover this point.  DON’T BRING WEAPONS AND DRUGS TO COURT WITH YOU!  Yes I have seen cases in which people are charged for bringing weapons and drugs to court.  They were searched after the metal detector was set off and then weapons and drugs were found on the person.  You would think it would be common sense, but I have seen it happen.  So my last tips is  don’t carry contraband with you to court. 

 Massachusetts Probate and Family Court tips

http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/beforegoing.html

 Minnesota State Court tips

http://www.mncourts.gov/selfhelp/?page=1616

 Traffic Court tips

http://www.trafficticketsecrets.com/traffic-court-tips.html

 Delaware State Court tips

http://courts.delaware.gov/How%20To/Court%20proceedings/?ccp_goingtocourt.htm

 Illinois Legal Aid Video

http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=2151

 Hawaii State Court tips

http://www.courts.state.hi.us/page_server/SelfHelp/TipsOnGoingToCourt/5C475B8C1A32638F15195D2D7.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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At a party, you hear police coming, there are drugs at that place, what do you do?


Throughout your life you probably went to your fair share of parties and you are likely to go to a few more before you hang it up. What if you are at a party, and you know someone is doing drugs or there are drugs in the apartment, and the police show up? There are a lot of police officers everywhere, people screaming, what do you do? Well here are a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t run. This is not an easy thing to do, but think rationally about this for a moment. Most of the time when police do a raid on a house they cover all access points. Therefore, by running away from one police officer, you will inevitably find your self running straight into the arms of another. Besides running doesn’t make you look good. Also let’s face it, if you have been partying and drinking, what are your chances of outrunning the police at this point?

Don’t say much if anything at all. If this is just the police coming into the apartment to break up the party that is one thing, but it could also be a raid. During a raid the police will usually have a search warrant. If the police have a search warrant for that location, they will usually arrest everyone there. You don’t want to say anything that might link you to the place, the targets on the warrant, and obviously the drugs. So don’t say anything, instead tell the officers you don’t want to say anything until you talk to an attorney. Sometimes the strongest piece of evidence the police have is the statements that you give. If you tell the police officers that the drugs in the bedroom aren’t yours it won’t help. You might be thinking you are giving solid defense to the drugs, the police will think that you knew about the drugs in the bedroom. So be quiet.

Call an attorney. If you get arrested and the police want to ask you questions, don’t waive your rights. Tell the police in a nice way that you would like to first talk to an attorney. You never know what the police are thinking. Don’t put yourself in a bad situation because you thought the police were going to let you off easy if you talked.
To recap, don’t run from the scene, don’t say anything at the scene, and don’t answer questions until you talk to an attorney.

Massachusetts Bar Associations talks about search warrants
http://www.massbar.org/about-the-mba/press-room/journalists’-handbook/20-search-warrants-and-subpoenas

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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