– What does it mean for a citizen to “surrender” to a court? Do they go to jail?


What does it mean to surrender? Am I promising to be a good boy? Do I get to leave without going to jail because I’ve paid bail already?

In: 0

Surrendering means that you present yourself to the court to be processed.

So, you’ve been indicted, which means that the government has formally charged you with a serious crime (and, in some places, a Grand Jury has agreed that there’s enough evidence to indict you.) The judge issues a warrant for your arrest. You intend to cooperate, so you agree to surrender.

Once you surrender, you get booked into jail, they take your fingerprints and your mug shot, and you appear before a judge. The judge determines whether you’ll be granted bail or not, and how much bail will be. If you post bail, you’re free to go until your trial starts. If you don’t post bail (or you don’t get offered bail,) you have to wait in jail until your trial starts.

In short, when you are charge with a crime you have a contest of wills: The government vs You.
You can resist…but this is not recomended and has a phenomenally low success rate.

You can surrender ie give up…at which point you begin the formal legal process for whatever criminal action you were charged with.