When you’ve been officially charged with an offense, a Florida judge will authorize law enforcement to arrest you. This authorization, which is issued in the form of an arrest warrant, includes information like your name and the crimes you are accused of committing.
In Florida, a warrant can be issued against you for reasons like the following:
- Failure to appear in court. If you don’t show up for a scheduled court date, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest, even if the notice did not go to the right address.
- Probation violations.
- Suspicion that you have committed a felony offense, based on probable cause after an investigation.
In a lot of cases, people don’t even know that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and are not actively trying to evade law enforcement. In other instances, they learn about the warrant but are afraid of being arrested in front of friends and family. Whatever your circumstances, a Tampa criminal defense lawyer at Sulte Law Firm will help you get the warrant withdrawn or negotiate a surrender to law enforcement and address the alleged crime or violation.
Bench vs. Arrest Warrant
Both bench and arrest warrants are court orders that can place you in police custody until your next court date. However, they are issued under different circumstances, although failure to comply with either one can create serious consequences for you.
- Arrest warrants are issued by law enforcement or a Florida grand jury when they have probable cause to believe that you have committed a crime. In most cases, you don’t know that the warrant has been issued until the police actually arrest you, although you may suspect it.
- Bench warrants are typically issued when you fail to appear for a court hearing or respond to a subpoena. Common causes also include failure to follow a Judge’s order, a violation of probation or failure to appear in court after a criminal citation was issued.
Reach Out to a Tampa Outstanding Warrant Lawyer for Help
If you know you have an outstanding warrant, don’t wait for the police to appear at your home or workplace. Contact our experienced Tampa arrest warrant lawyer for competent and accurate advice. At Sulte Law Firm, we can file a motion to set aside or withdraw the arrest warrant when possible. If it isn’t, we will mount a strong defense against the charges and work to achieve the best outcome for your case. Call (813) 223-4343 for a consultation today.
Do Arrest Warrants Expire in Florida?
According to Florida Statute 775.15, the statute of limitations for your arrest warrant will depend on what type of offense you were charged with.
There is no statute of limitations for any felonies that could send you to prison for life or incur the death penalty.
With first-degree felonies, the statute of limitations is four years.
Second and third-degree felonies are active for three years.
First-degree misdemeanors have a prosecution window of two years, while second-degree misdemeanors have one year.
In addition, any felonies that cause personal injury due to destructive devices like firearms have a 10-year statute of limitations, while felonies involving certain types of fraud or elder abuse or neglect must be prosecuted within five years.
In all instances, the clock starts ticking the day after the crime occurred. A Tampa arrest warrant lawyer will advise you what the statute of limitations may be in your case.
Can You Be Arrested Out of State on a Florida Warrant?
Yes, it can happen.
Depending on the charge involved, arrest warrants (especially those involving felonies) are active even out of state. For example, if you are arrested for possession of a controlled substance (other than marijuana) and flee to New York as soon as you make bail, you can be extradited to Florida for failing to appear in court. These warrants are also known as ‘Fugitive From Justice’ warrants.
If you left the state knowing that you were missing a court date or the police were looking for you, Sulte Law Firm can negotiate your turn-in with Florida authorities and help you deal with the original offense as well as the aftermath.
How Can a Tampa Outstanding Warrant Lawyer Help?
If you learn that you missed a court hearing that you were ordered to attend or an arrest warrant has been issued against you, don’t ignore it and hope for the best. Take action immediately by retaining legal counsel to help you address the charges.
When you have any kind of outstanding warrant, the police can take you into custody at any time, leaving you with non-stop worry and stress. Attorney Ryan Sulte will help you address the warrant and deal with the original offense (if applicable) so that you can face your difficulties immediately and with the best chance of a good outcome.