Did you do something wrong? Whether you committed a criminal act or simply think the police are after you, it might make more sense to turn yourself in rather than wait for the police to act on their own accord. You won’t always need to hand yourself over to the police, though, and it’s probably a better use of your time to speak with a lawyer to discuss the details of your case. Here are the reasons why you might consider taking the initiative.
First and foremost, the most obvious reason to hand yourself over happens when you know there is — or will be — a warrant out for your arrest. Perhaps the police have called to request your turn yourself into the police station by a set time to save themselves the time and effort of coming to get you. They sometimes do this for small crimes or when you might not know you have a warrant out for your arrest. Speak with a lawyer first for serious crimes, but always answer the summons.
The police won’t always let you know about a warrant, though. Should you find out through other means, you should still consider turning yourself in. This is the safer, more streamlined option, and judges are always happy to hear you did the “right thing.”
Before you turn yourself into police, you have the opportunity to act. You can determine who your lawyer will be in order to begin building a strong defense, but you also have the opportunity to prepare funds for bail or bond.
Having the opportunity to turn yourself in willingly gives your lawyer time to drill into your head what is safe to say to the police (i.e. nothing). Never admit guilt, because once you do, your defense effort can be crippled. You don’t need to maintain your innocence. All you need to do is ask for your lawyer, who you should have already retained prior to turning yourself in.