Arrest warrants for failure to appear, also known as bench warrants in Florida, are surrounded with misconceptions. For instance, a person can evade an arrest for a bench warrant, but the warrant always will exist. This means he or she could face being arrested later in life for a warrant issued a decade prior.
Additionally, just because a warrant is out for your arrest it does not mean you must be booked into jail. There are other options when handling warrants. An experienced Pinellas County criminal defense attorney can help you explore your options for your outstanding bench warrant.
St. Petersburg Arrest Warrant Attorney
Waiting out a bench warrant is rarely a good idea. If you have failed to appear in court in Pinellas County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Hillsborough County or Sarasota County, contact the experienced St Petersburg criminal defense lawyers of Morris Law Firm, P.A. today. They can help you resolve your situation in the easiest way.
Melinda Morris and her team know how to present your reasons for failure to appear in a favorable light. They can fight for minimal jail time and bond amounts, rather than severe punishments. For your free consultation on what Melinda Morris and Morris Law Firm, P.A. can do for your failure to appear warrant, call (727) 388-4736.
Information About Bench Warrants in Florida
- Types of Florida Warrants for Failure to Appear
- Consequences of a Bench Warrant or Alias Capias in Florida
- Resolving an Outstanding Warrant in Pinellas County
There are many reasons you may be required to appear in court, and a bench warrant can be triggered for failure to appear for anything. Whether the original offense was a minor traffic infraction like speeding or a misdemeanor charge of assault, a warrant could be issued for you.
If you do not show up at the specific time and date specified by your notice to appear or make specific arrangements with the court to change that date and time, the judge presiding over your case will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If arrested, you will have to post bond before being released.
For a defendant charged with a felony who fails to appear, a felony warrant, known as an alias capias, will be issued for your arrest. This often is more serious than a bench warrant. If you are arrested on an alias capias, it is unlikely you will be able to post bond. Instead, you will most likely have to stay in jail until your new court date.
It is important to note you may be arrested at any time for either a bench warrant or an alias capias. This means failing to appear in court for a minor traffic violation could lead to being arrested while working. An experienced Pinellas Park criminal defense attorney can help you voluntarily resolve your warrant before this occurs.
Whether your failure to appear was because you forgot or you had a legitimate reason, the main consequence of not working to resolve the warrant is constantly living at risk of being arrested. With a bench warrant or felony alias capias warrant, you can be arrested anytime, anywhere you are identified by or reported to law enforcement. This could be at work, school, at your home or in any number of potentially embarrassing public situations.
Additionally, warrants show up on background checks and driver’s license checks. This means that even if you are out of state, your bench warrant can make you look like a criminal on the run to potential employers, creditors, and lessors, as well as obligate any police officer stopping you for a routine traffic offense to arrest you on the spot.
An outstanding warrant also will negatively impact your ability to apply for government benefits like Social Security. Once you are arrested you could face other consequences such as fines, jail time and expensive bond prices. Resolving your warrant with an experienced St. Petersburg area criminal lawyer is a more active, potentially less consequential approach.
You do not have to wait to be arrested to resolve an outstanding bench warrant. In fact, taking a proactive approach potentially could help your case. There are various options available to you to resolve your warrant in Pinellas County or the surrounding areas. Some possible options include:
- Self-arrest program, which takes care of the warrant without the normal jail booking process
- Surrender to the police and make arrangements with your attorney to represent you at your first appearance, which will occur in the next 24-48 hours
- Appear with your lawyer in court to file a motion to surrender and petition the judge for a quick release resolution
- Schedule an emergency bond motion with your attorney to lower the bond amount due to exigent circumstances or request an release on own recognizance (ROR) bond.
- Have your attorney file a motion to withdraw a bench warrant due to an inadvertent or unintentional failure to appear
Finding A Bench Warrant Defense Lawyer in Pinellas County
If you are the subject of a bench warrant or alias capias in St. Petersburg or the surrounding areas, Melissa Morris and the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Morris Law Firm, P.A. can fight to reduce your bond and jail time in a proactive surrender. Call (727) 388-4736 today to schedule your free consultation.