A local news organization is tooting its own horn, after a tip from one of its readers led to the arrest of a man wanted in connection for an armed carjacking and robbery.
D.C. criminal defense lawyers want you to know that there are very few cases in which a person wanted by law enforcement evades capture for long, particularly if the person is wanted in connection with a violent offense. Sure, there are the occasional stories of those who stay under the radar for decades. But those cases make headlines for a reason: They're extremely rare.
Those who know they have a warrant and don't turn themselves in face a number of risks, including being arrested at work, in front of their families or during a routine traffic stop. In some cases, the arrest may catch you off guard, leading to a potentially violent confrontation that could not only result in additional charges, you may be at risk for physical harm.
However, what you don't want to do is turn yourself into authorities before you have first consulted with an experienced D.C. criminal defense lawyer. There are multiple reasons why.
First, some have made the mistake of thinking they can turn themselves in for crimes after the statute of limitations has run out, believing they can no longer be prosecuted for a crime. This is extremely risky because laws are evolving and can be quite complex. If you make a mistake in this regard, you could potentially be facing a very long prison sentence by turning yourself in for a crime that happened 20 years ago if the statute of limitations is 30 years.
Secondly, when you turn yourself in, depending on the crime of which you are accused, law enforcement officers may attempt to question you soon after you are in custody. If you have not first met with a lawyer or have a lawyer present during that process, there is a high potential you may say something that could be used to incriminate you.
And finally, your defense attorney may be able to facilitate the exact terms of your surrender, as well as your potential release, before you ever step foot in front of a judge. If your warrant is for something relatively minor, such as a bench warrant for failure to appear, an attorney may even be able to help you arrange to pay a fine and have the matter dropped.
Every case is different, but you should always contact an attorney before turning yourself in.
In this particular case, the 29-year-old suspect was wanted for a 2003 incident in which he reportedly used a firearm to carjack a man in Prince George County. He then allegedly made the man drive to an ATM and forced him to take out the $600 maximum the ATM would allow. Unsatisfied with that amount, police said he forced the victim to rent a local hotel room and waited to return to the ATM the following day to take out more.
The Washington Examiner published a story about this wanted individual in May. A reader reportedly contacted the local police department to say that the suspect was known to frequent a nearby park. Police then conducted surveillance on the area and ended up recently arresting him without incident.