What will happen if i turn myself in for a warrant due to 2 missed court dates ?

Good Morning to whom it may concern, I am writing you at 5:30 am Alberta time because I can not sleep due to my legal issues . 2 years ago I was shopping with my mother when she was caught shop lifting. I had no idea she was doing this as I was distracted by my 1 year old daughter . When she got caught because of the amount of stuff she had stolen they assumed that I knew what she was doing and placed me under arrest as well . I signed a promise to appear and then I missed my court date . Just a year ago my daughters father and I had a huge fight and forgetting about my warrant for not appearing in court , I called the police . When they arrived they arrested him , and I for the outstanding warrant . My new court date was set to 1 month from the time of that fight . I missed the court again not really by accident but by choice . You see , that same day I also had an appointment with social assistance because I was a newly single mother and needed financial help . I chose to go to that appointment , and missed my court due to bad timing . Therefore I missed 2 court dates for a crime I did not commit and intend to fight the charges . The warrant is really stressing me out and causing me issues because I would like to travel outside country and well, basically be free instead of living in fear . I would like to go turn myself in to a police station, but I need to know given the situation , what to expect when I go . So I can arrange child care for my daughter in case they will hold me . Or if they will let me sign another promise to appear and give me one last chance to make this right ? By the way I am 23 years old and this is my first "offence" . Thank you in advance for your time . Have a wonderful day !


Asked over 7 years ago in Alberta
Categories: Criminal Law

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<br />If I could get some advice as fast as possible I would appretiate it as I would like to go take care of this today as early as possible . Thank you again !&nbsp;

Posted over 7 years ago


John P Gustafson

Answer by John P Gustafson

VerifiedBritish Columbia lawyer


There are a couple of different things that  you need to address here.  The first is the warrant for your arrest.  The problem you face is that you have now missed not one but two court appearances.  This will likely give the Crown some concerns about you attending court and MAY cause them to try and have you held in custody until your charges are dealt with.  However, this does NOT mean that the court will do so.  You will want to contact a lawyer in your area and get his or her help in turning yourself in.  If you cannot afford it there will likely be a duty counsel lawyer at the courthouse to deal with situations like yours.

When you go to court to deal with the warrant (which you should do asap) you will want to be prepared with a cash deposit for bail or what is called a surety.  A cash deposit is just what it sounds like, money that is left with the court registry and returned only after the charges are dealt with.  This will be kept by the Crown if you fail to appear or breach your bail.  There is no magic amount, but you will want to come up with a figure that you can afford, but is substantial.  A surety is a person (other than you) who is willing to take financial responsibility for you coming to court and obeying any conditions.  They will sing your bail papers and an agreement to pay if you fail in your obligations.  Again the amount is different for every case, but the person should bring financial information to show what they can afford.  The surety should know you, be an adult and no criminal record.

The second priority will be dealing with the charges against you after your bail is sorted out.  This will very likely mean going to trial.  The Crown is unlikely to drop charges on your say so and the court cannot dismiss the charges without a trial.  You will very much want a lawyer to assist you in this.  Shop around (prices can vary) and look for someone withe criminal defense experience.  Legal Aid may be an option if you cannot afford one.  There may also be other resources in your area such as law student run legal clinics.

Posted over 7 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact John P Gustafson, or search the Lawyer Directory.


Reply by Police Officer the shield


...and one more thing....turn yourself in as early in the morning as possible (Contact the warrant officers who will process you and see what time they come in in the morning) so that the couple of hours of paperwork can be done and you can get to court that day.  If you leave it too late in the day, there's a real possibility of spending an extra night in the cells. 

Posted over 7 years ago

I am a retired police officer with experience on the Tactical team, Vice Unit, Major Crime Unit and Drug Squad.

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Search the Lawyer Directory.


John P Gustafson

Answer by John P Gustafson

VerifiedBritish Columbia lawyer


Getting there early will also give you enough time to speak with duty counsel if necessary.

Posted over 7 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact John P Gustafson, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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