Should I turn myself in after committing a crime? 57 Answers as of June 09, 2013

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

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
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
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
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: 8/18/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
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: 8/17/2011
Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
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
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
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
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    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
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    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
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    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
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    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: 8/15/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    No, get an attorney
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    No! If they are not pressing charges, why would you want to bring the charges to the attention of the police yourself?
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C.
    Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. | Loren Dickstein
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If there is no criminal charge, there is nothing to turn yourself in for.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle
    Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle | Sara Sencer McArdle
    NO. Not unless the police are pursuing the crime. You need to consult with an attorney!!
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    That would be extremely unwise. You should contact a criminal defense law firm immediately to discuss your case. DO NOT GO TO THE POLICE.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should retain an attorney to advise you as to how to proceed after you tell him the facts and circumstances, but in general you never talk to the police, and you never turn yourself in.You retain an attorney to try to prevent an arrest, or to settle the case civilly if possible. Don't let your conscience get in the way of good decision making.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Not if charges are not being pressed. No charges nothing to get arrested on.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry. You do not fully describe what may have occurred, and I would not do so on th einternet. However, in many situations, it may be best to not turn yourself in if there will be no charges. In other circumstances, where it is just a matter of time before charges will be brought, hiring an attorney to review the situation may result in voluntarily presenting yourself as opposed to just getting arrested some day. My advice is to hire an attorney to review the situation. If your matter is in Macomb Oakland or Wayne Counties, you could contact my office for an appointment. Until then, you may wish to do nothing, and certainly do not make statements to any investigating police officer. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber | Marshall Tauber
    Not without a full consultation & representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer every dollar spent will be worth it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Are you kidding? The police wouldn't even talk to you without a complaint being filed. Apologize to the person you harmed, pay them damages if you want and be happy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    Absolutely not until after discussing the issue with a qualified attorney who should be able to confirm that a action is actually pending.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If they are not pressing charges the police would not keep you. No.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    If police have charged you and there is an outstanding warrant you turn self in. If no pending charge or warrant do not go to police. There is no reason to admit to anything. Do not talk.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You should consult with a criminal defense attorney ASAP concerning your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    I need to know more about the circumstances. Generally, it is a good idea to turn yourself in.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    If a case has been filed or an arrest warrant issued, you should; otherwise, no. And either way, don't talk to anyone about the incident: you can never, ever make things better by trying to explain to the cops or government anything. Hire counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    That is a moral question but there are other ways to make up for your actions - volunteer somewhere.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    If you are ready to be arrested and prosecuted.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If there isn't an arrest warrant, there isn't a way for you to turn yourself in. If you're speaking about filing a criminal complaint against yourself, I can't answer that.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If they are not "pressing charges" and there is no case filed by the local prosecutor, who would you turn yourself in to? Nobody would know what to do with you without a pending case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    You cannot turn yourself in unless there is a warrant for your arrest. So, if there is a warrant for your arrest, then yes, you should turn yourself in. If there is not a warrant for your arrest, then no, you should not turn yourself in. If you do choose to turn yourself in, it is best to speak with a lawyer beforehand, so you can plan when to do it and know what to expect.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/9/2013
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    I see nothing to be gained for turning yourself in unless you have a need to appease your conscience. Before you do, seek legal counsel. There may be a better alternative.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    No. Not without first consulting with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No you shouldn't. And remember not to talk to anyone who is not a lawyer about it, because they become witnesses of your incriminating statements.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    That's not a legal question but a moral one. I wouldn't. But you're not me.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    You are under no legal obligation to do so. That is a purely ethical question and depends on what you did, to whom, and you. If you do want to turn yourself in, you definitely should go see a lawyer before doing so.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If there is a warrant for your arrest, you should hire a lawyer and then hire a bondsman so you can post a bond without being arrested. If there is no warrant, there is nothing for you to "turn [your]self in" for. Whatever you do, do not discuss the situation with ANYONE but a lawyer. Do not talk to the complainant, family, friends, or POLICE. If the cops call you, go hire a lawyer immediately. If you get picked up, assert your right to a lawyer and to the 5th Amendment.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    No. I advise against turning yourself in. You should attempt to settle the case in the civil arena before being prosecuted by the district attorney. If the complaining party does not want to press charges, why would you put yourself through a criminal prosecution?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Why would you want to be arrested, prosecuted and possibly convicted if there was currently no case against you? Sorry about any typos
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Christopher Lee
    If there are no charges filed against you, there is no need to turn yourself in. Usually, if charges are filed, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. If a warrant is issued, you should seek the assistance of an attorney to help represent you and possibly assist in turning yourself in.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    If there is a warrant out for you, an attorney cannot advise you to avoid the warrant. I suggest you consult a local Criminal Defense attorney IMMEDIATELY to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    I would advise you to sit tight and do not do anything unless you are charged.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Absolutely not! Never tell the police anything. If you get a summons, hire an attorney. If you get a call from the police, do not speak with them. You have the right to remain silent and the right not to incriminate yourself. Those are your Constitutional rights. It is not your obligation to turn yourself in unless there is a warrant or summons for you.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Srai Law Office
    Srai Law Office | Gurjit Singh Srai, Esq.
    Contact a local attorney to speak with you about the matter. Generally, it is not a good idea to volunteer information especially when the other party has not pressed charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If the victim is not pressing charges, there is nothing to turn yourself in for. Dont kick a sleeping dog. If and when you are ever contacted by any investigator or other authority about the crime, exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to ANYONE about the case except an attorney. Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Grant & Grant
    Grant & Grant | Richard L. Grant, Esq.
    No, but you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    As a legal question the answer couldn't be more clear: HELL NO! As a moral question, make amends to the person harmed if you're feeling guilty or have a bad conscience. You can do that without the police being involved. Don't get them involved if they aren't involved already.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Steven C. Bullock
    NO! Just credit it to a dumb thing to do and if this is a friend buy them dinner if it's not a friend.......count your lucky stars
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    No because by turning yourself in to the police you will be informing on yourself. The matter may never come to the attention of the police if the victim doesn't alert them to a potential criminal case. The police are the investigative arm of the prosecution. Without a police report, the case can never be prosecuted. This would be "The Best Defense."
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    If there is no criminal investigation, you should not be talking to the police. And they wouldn't be interested in talking to you. It there is a criminal investigstion, you should be talking to a lawyer, not the police. You can't and shouldn't turn yourself in.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    Why would you do that? If there is no arrest warrant then there is nothing for you to "turn yourself in on."
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    Never go to the police and tell them you have committed a crime. You need a lawyer now. You should never speak to law enforcement without an attorney present when you are under investigation of a crime.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/13/2011
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