So You Have a Warrant in District of Columbia, Now What?
The First question you must ask yourself is whether the warrant is a probation bench warrant or a Pretrial bench warrant. A Probation bench warrant method the estimate has sentenced you and you were on probation to the court and then failed to show for your show cause hearing. A show cause hearing is a hearing that was set because the probation officer alleges that you violated a condition of probation. A pretrial bench warrant method you failed to appear for arraignment, position hearing, trial or sentencing hearing. If a pretrial bench warrant was issued you failed to appear after you signed notice to appear.
Pretrial bench warrant
First and foremost try and contact your lawyer. If you are unable to contact lawyer but nevertheless want to resolve the warrant peacefully. You should report to pretrial sets at D.C. Superior Court room C301. Once there you will ask to speak with someone from the failure to appear unit. Do not make any statements to the pretrial sets officer without lawyer. When the pretrial sets officer asks you why you didn’t appear your response should be “Before I respond I would like to speak to a lawyer.” The reason is that anything you say to the pretrial sets officer could be used against in a separate charge called a bail reform act violation. A bail reform act violation can carry up to 180 days in jail if you failed to appear for a misdemeanor or 5 years in jail if you failed to appear for a felony or for sentencing. After that the pretrial sets officer will escort you to the estimate that issued the warrant. They will contact your lawyer or appoint a new lawyer if you were not stated or retained a lawyer.
Probation Show cause warrant
Probation bench warrant is a little more difficult because probation department does not have an office in Superior Court unlike Pretrial sets. A lawyer can be very helpful in showing your side of why the probation officer was incorrect. Contact your lawyer that you either retained or were appointed before you go to court. If you do not have money to retain a lawyer, or not able to contact your appointed lawyer, go to the Public Defender Service at 633 Indiana method, 2nd floor and they will make the arrangements for finding your lawyer or providing a lawyer.
Always remember its better to have your lawyer make representations to the Court than you.