If you’ve been charged with a crime, whether you’re guilty or not, you’re entitled to have an attorney represent you in court. Even if it is for a minor offense, such as speeding, you shouldn’t give up your right to being represented by a criminal lawyer. In most criminal cases, you will either be served with an arrest warrant or sent a summons to court.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is issued after enough evidence has been found to indict you for a serious crime. Some of the offenses that will trigger an arrest warrant include:
- Sexual assault
An arrest warrant may also be issued when a criminal complaint has been filed against you. A warrant for a complaint can be issued without arrest, but one can be issued that does require you to be arrested.
When you receive the warrant, there is information on it that you should make note of when you speak to a criminal lawyer about representing you. They will want to know the charges and which court you will be brought before after you’ve been arrested.
What is a Summons?
A summons to appear in court doesn’t require an arrest and it is usually mailed to your home or served to you. Someone authorized to serve the summons may give it directly to you or leave it at your last known residence. You will usually receive a summons for less violent crimes, such as speeding or driving under a suspended license.
If you fail to appear in court after receiving a summons, a bench warrant can be issued for your arrest. Whether you receive a summons or have a warrant out for your arrest, you need to contact a criminal lawyer in order to get help with your case.