If you’ve been charged with a crime, you most likely have questions about the difference between a summons and a warrant. These are the two ways the court can use to get you to come to court.
What Is a Summons?
A summons is just a letter sent by the court asking you to come to court to handle your case. It does not require you to do anything except go to court. If you don’t show up to court, the judge may issue an arrest warrant for your failure to appear. A summons is used when the charge is minor, when you don’t have a criminal history, or when your attorney has negotiated for the prosecutor to file a summons instead of an arrest warrant.
What Is an Arrest Warrant?
If a criminal charge has been filed against you, then there could be a warrant issued for your arrest. An arrest warrant means that police can arrest you day or night and is enforceable even if you refuse to be arrested. An arrest warrant is used when the judge believes you pose a danger to society, when the charge is a felony, or when you have a lengthy criminal history. If you are arrested, you’ll be taken to jail and a bail amount will likely be set.
What to Do if You Believe You Could Be Arrested
If you believe you could be arrested because of a crime, contact the lawyers at Conyers & Nix immediately. We can help you possibly avoid being taken to jail. We can negotiate with the prosecutor to issue a summons instead of a warrant, we can ask that you be allowed to self surrender so you’re not arrested at home with your neighbors watching, or we can negotiate your release through pretrial supervision.
Whether you are summoned or arrested, we will be with you every step of the way and fight for your constitutional rights. Our goal is to keep you out of jail and we will do everything possible to achieve that goal.