You can be arrested in one of three scenarios:
1. You can be arrested if a judge or magistrate, upon presentation of allegations by the police, issues an arrest warrant that tells the police to take you into custody.
2. You can also be arrested without an arrest warrant if the police have reasonable grounds to believe you have recently committed, are in the process of committing, or are about to commit a crime.
3. You can also be arrested in North Carolina if you have been told to appear at court, and you have failed to do so. In that case, you will be “called and failed” and an “order for arrest” will be issued for you.
If you have been arrested or are about to be arrested, the best thing you can do is get a lawyer. That lawyer can give you immediate advice, tell you what to do and what not to do, contact bail bondsmen on your behalf if necessary, and communicate with your family on your behalf if you are held in custody.
Even if you are eventually appointed a public defender because you can’t afford a lawyer for your entire case, hiring a lawyer during the initial stages of the case – investigation and arrest – and make the difference between a not-guilty and conviction down the road.
Do not wait. Do not pass go. Do not think the police “may not arrest me.” Do not play games and hope it will “all go away.”