Should I turn myself in after committing a crime? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Should I turn myself in after committing a crime?

If I committed a crime against someone, but they aren't pressing charges, should I still turn myself in?

Answer By Jared Austin
Austin Legal Services, PLC
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You can't turn yourself in unless there are pending charges. What would you be turning yourself in for? The police would have nothing to hold you on. It is up the complaining witness and the prosecutor to press criminal charges. If that occurs then that is a different matter and you would want to strongly consider turning yourself in or else run the risk of getting picked up. If it comes to that stage, make sure you have a lawyer involved.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011

Answer By Maury Beaulier
Beaulier Law Office
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You should consult with legal counsel regarding your particular situation. In most cases, you will want to hire counsel before submitting yourself on a warrant.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/17/2011

Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
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I'd recommend that retain an attorney to assist you with this matter. I wouldn't just take that person's word for it. Before you did anything with the police though, I'd strongly recommend you privately consult with an attorney. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. Speaking generally, simply because someone tells you they aren't pressing charges does not mean that won't, actually, refuse to press charges. Whether they press charges is up to them. If they had already filed a police report, then the matter is at the discretion of the police and prosecutor. Even if the "victim" no longer wishes to press charges, the case may proceed anyway, especially if the prosecutor has other potential witnesses. Simply because a person is charged, however, does not mean that ultimately the prosecutor could prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Obviously, to a judge or jury, the "victim's" views on the matter certainly will be important.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/16/2011

Answer By Craig Andersen
Andersen Law PLLC
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Not if you haven't been charged. You must understand that only the prosecutor's office can bring and drop charges in Washington. The alleged victim of a crime cannot drop charges. However, if the police are unaware of the illegal act or acts, it is best to lay low and keep your mouth shut. Depending on the alleged crime, the state must file charges in one to three years unless it is a serious violent felony. The best thing you can do is make sure your correct address is on file with the court. Under no circumstances should you discuss this matter with the police or anyone else. If you have threatened the alleged victim, you have committed another crime. Best to lay low and remain silent no matter what. Also, as soon as the cops arrest or question you, assert your right to an attorney.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/15/2011

Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
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It would be nice to know what the crime is and the relationship with the victim is. If the crime was reported then your best option is to turn yourself in. If the crime was unreported then make peace with the victim and let it go.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/15/2011

Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
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Iwould need further information such as how serious is the charge, will the person file criminal charges etc. Certainly morally it is a good idea to turn yourself in if there is going to be charges. However, there is an advantage to not turningyourself in and that is that there may not be charges brought against you and to ease your conscience you can make amends with the person you wronged.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/15/2011

Law Office of Richard Williams
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If the person is not pressing charges or if no warrant is signed you cannot and should not turn yourself in. Leave it alone!

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2011

Answer By Steven Dunnings
Dunnings Law Firm
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No. You can call the police agency to see if they will advise if an arrest warrant has been issued

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/15/2011

Answer By Steve Freeborn
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
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I can't answer that question based upon your e-mail, as I do not know what you did that constitutes a crime. You may want to speak in more detail with an attorney.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/14/2011

Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
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No, get an attorney

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/14/2011

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