Arrest Warrants, Arraignment and Bond
There are a couple of ways that an individual can be brought into court system on criminal charges. The first way is when a person is caught in the act by the police or by other evidence (eye witnesses, video surveillance, paper trail). A criminal investigation is another way that a person can be charged with a crime. A criminal investigation is the name given for the process used by the police to gather information about alleged criminal activity. During an investigation, the police want to establish if a crime was committed, who committed the crime, obtain a confession and establish other factors such as motive or placing a person at the crime scene.
Contact ABDO LAW if you are being investigated or if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Wayne or St. Clair. CALL for a free consultation and same day appointment: Phone (586) 412-5555.
Questioning suspects is a key part of a criminal investigation. When it comes to certain cases, such as unsubstantiated “he said-she said” sex crime accusations, the police are extremely aggressive to try and get a confession from the accused party to strengthen the prosecutor’s case. You should know your rights and be prepared if the police contact you for questioning.
Don’t expect the police to tell you that you should get a lawyer if you are faced with criminal accusations. Shut your mouth the minute you hear a cop say, “why do you need a lawyer if you didn’t do anything wrong.” Even an innocent person is capable of self-incrimination during an interrogation by:
- Placing himself or herself at the crime scene.
- Providing evidence of motive (anger with the alleged victim, financial difficulties, etc.).
- Letting an aggressive law enforcement officer control the investigation.
- Submitting to a polygraph examination without the advice of an attorney.
If enough evidence is uncovered, an arrest warrant can be requested. An arrest warrant is issued by the judge and is required to be based upon the probable cause standard. Unfortunately, the probable cause standard is subjective and judges rarely deny a request for an arrest warrant.Arrest With or Without a Warrant
An arrest may occur with or without a warrant, depending upon the circumstances.
Arrest without a warrant: Pursuant to MCL 764.15, A peace officer may arrest a person without a warrant in any of the following situations:
- A felony, misdemeanor, or ordinance violation is committed in the peace officer's presence.
- The person has committed a felony although not in the peace officer's presence.
- A felony in fact has been committed and the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe the person committed it.
- The peace officer has reasonable cause to believe a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for more than 92 days or a felony has been committed and reasonable cause to believe the person committed it.
- The peace officer has received positive information by written, telegraphic, telephonic, radio, electronic, or other authoritative source that another peace officer or a court holds a warrant for the person's arrest.
- The peace officer has received positive information broadcast from a recognized police or other governmental radio station, or teletype, that affords the peace officer reasonable cause to believe a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for more than 92 days or a felony has been committed and reasonable cause to believe the person committed it.
- The peace officer has reasonable cause to believe the person is an escaped convict, has violated a condition of parole from a prison, has violated a condition of a pardon granted by the executive, or has violated 1 or more conditions of a conditional release order or probation order imposed by a court of this state, another state, Indian tribe, or United States territory.
- The peace officer has reasonable cause to believe the person was, at the time of an accident in this state, the operator of a vehicle involved in the accident and was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or impaired.
- The person is found in the driver's seat of a vehicle parked or stopped on a highway or street within this state if any part of the vehicle intrudes into the roadway and the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe the person was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or impaired.
- The peace officer has reasonable cause to believe a misdemeanor has taken place or is taking place on school property and reasonable cause to believe the person committed or is committing the violation, regardless of whether the violation was committed in the peace officer's presence.
Arrest with a Warrant: Once sufficient evidence has been uncovered in a criminal investigation, the case is then presented to the prosecutor for authorization of criminal charge(s) and then to a judge for issuance of an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant may be effectuated in any of the following ways:
- The police may arrest the person named in the warrant.
- The police may opt to notify the attorney for the accused party and allow the attorney bring the accused party into the court or police department for processing.
- The court may generate a notification for the person to appear in court to address the warrant and for arraignment.
Once a case is the court system and a case number is assigned, the party charged with a crime is referred to as the “defendant”. An arraignment is the first opportunity for the defendant to appear in court before the judge after being arrested or notified to appear. An arraignment appearance may be live, or in-person at the courthouse, or conducted remotely. The following matters are covered at the arraignment stage of a criminal case:
- Defendant is advised of the charges: The charges and penalties are read to the defendant.
- Plea is entered: A plea is entered (guilty, not guilty, stand mute) with the court. It is our policy 100% of the time to enter a plea of “not guilty” at the arraignment.
- Bond: Bond is addressed as explained in more detail below.
- Court date scheduled: A probable cause conference and preliminary examination is scheduled for felony cases. A pretrial conference is scheduled for misdemeanors.
Misdemeanor arraignments can be waived in the discretion of the court. Appearances for felony arraignments are mandatory.Bond: An Attorney Can Keep Bond Low and Save You $1,000’s
An accused party is entitled to bond pursuant to MCL 765.6. The main components of bond are:
- The seriousness of the offense charged.
- The protection of the public.
- The previous criminal record and the dangerousness of the person accused.
- The probability of the person accused appearing at the trial of the cause.
The financial component of bond is the court’s prerogative which may, but not always, require a person charged with a crime to deposit funds with the court prior to being released from jail. The following are various financial features imposed as a condition of bond:
- Personal bond: A personal bond is the best type of bond because it allows a person to be released from jail without posting money, property or obtaining a bondsman or surety. You have the best shot at a personal bond by having an attorney present at arraignment.
- Ten (10%) percent bond: A 10% is just that. It requires the defendant to post 10% of the total bond ordered by the judge prior to being released from jail. For example, a bond in the amount of $10,000.00, with a 10% component, would mean that the sum of $1,000.00, or 10% of the total amount of the bond, would need to be posted to the court before the defendant’s release from jail.
- Cash or Surety Bond: A cash or surety bond is the most severe. A cash or surety bond requires that the full amount of the bond be posted in cash or that a surety (bondsman) agent agree to cover the full amount of bond in the event that the defendant fails to appear for a court date. A surety bond carries a non-refundable fee, typically around 10% of the total bond. For example, a bondsman would charge approximately $50,000 to post or guarantee a $500,000.00 bond. In addition, the bondsman may require other collateral such as deed(s) or titles to vehicles.
In addition to the financial component of bond, the judge can also impose bond conditions at the time of arraignment. Bond conditions are imposed to keep the peace and maintain control over a party charged with a crime even thought there is a presumption of innocence. Bond conditions can be extremely burdensome, unfair and expensive. All of the following bond conditions are possible:
- Testing for drugs and alcohol
- No contact with the alleged victim
- Global position satellite (GPS) monitoring
- Prohibited from traveling outside of Michigan
A request can be made at any time during the pendency of a criminal case to modify or terminate bond conditions.Proactive Criminal Case Management
The time to hire a lawyer is the moment that you realize that you are being accused of a crime. The police will not advise you of your legal rights unless you are in custody. Don’t make common mistakes by talking to the police, taking a polygraph or providing a written statement without getting the advice of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.