Arrest warrants are court orders that authorize law enforcement to arrest a suspected criminal and take him or her into custody. There are several reasons that an arrest warrant may be issued, with some of the most common being that police believe an alleged offender committed a crime or a person failed to appear for a scheduled court date.
It is important to understand that this warrant information is shared by multiple law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, warrants do not just go away. The only ways a warrant will no longer be outstanding is if it is either recalled by a judge or the criminal suspect is arrested.
Do you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest? You should immediately seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Adkinson Law Firm, LLC represents clients in Walton County, Okaloosa County, Bay County, Washington County, Holmes County, Santa Rosa County, and Escambia County. Call our firm today at to have Clay B. Adkinson and Clayton J. M. Adkinson review your case during a free, confidential consultation.
In criminal cases, police obtain these types of warrants by submitting written affidavits to a Florida judge or magistrate. The affidavit is presented under oath and needs to contain specific information that establishes probable cause, meaning enough evidence such that a reasonable person would believe the alleged offender committed the crime in question.
If a judge or magistrate signs off on a warrant, it will list the alleged offender’s name and the crime for which his or her arrest has been authorized. Certain warrants also specify certain times at which the warrant can be used and authorize law enforcement to seize an alleged offender’s property.
When issuing a warrant, a judge can set the amount of bond that an alleged offender would need to pay in order to be released from jail after being arrested. A judge can also issue what is called a “No Bond” warrant, meaning that the alleged offender cannot be bonded out of jail immediately after being arrested and either needs to wait until his or her next court date or request a bond hearing.
When it comes to these warrants authorizing a person’s arrest, there are several types that may be issued. While these warrants are often taken out by the police officer investigating an alleged crime, other examples include:
These types of warrants are issued by judges because of a person’s failure to appear (FTA) for a scheduled court date. A judge might issue a bench warrant if an alleged offender failed to pay a fine, did not show for a hearing date, or failed to appear for a scheduled interview before sentencing, and it authorizes law enforcement to arrest an alleged offender on sight.
Bench warrants are typically issued in misdemeanor cases and bond amounts can range between hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the types of case and the alleged offender’s criminal record. However, when these kinds of warrants are issued in felony cases, they are called alias capias warrants. Most people taken into custody on alias capias are held without bond.
Similar to bench warrants, a direct file arrest warrant is issued if an alleged offender fails to appear in court after being issued a summons in a direct information case filed by the State Attorney’s Office. These types of cases frequently involve driving under the influence (DUI) charges in which alleged offenders are prosecuted months after the alleged crime.
For example, if a person was involved in an automobile accident that required emergency medical treatment, the State Attorney's Office may not direct file criminal charges until months later when police officers have gained enough evidence to press DUI charges. In several cases involving crashes involving DUI, a driver may consent to a blood draw at the hospital that is later used as evidence and leads to the direct file summons.
A person who is on probation is expected to comply with all of the rule and requirements of his or her probation. There are several different ways a person can violate the terms of his or her probation, and this can lead to the probation officer filing a violation affidavit with the court that then leads to a judge issuing this warrant for that person’s arrest.
A violation of probation (VOP) can be something as minor as failing to call a probation officer to check in or leaving a restricted jurisdiction without permission, but other violations include failure to fulfill community service or pay fines or restitution. The most serious type of violation occurs if a person is arrested for a new crime while on probation, as that person will now have to fight a new criminal charge in addition to the violation of his or her probation.
An alleged offender can be arrested in one Florida county on either a felony or a misdemeanor warrant that was issued by another county. Again, agencies across the state share this type of information.
Under this kind of warrant, a county will typically maintain custody of an alleged offender for a certain number of days until he or she can be extradited to the county that originally issued the arrest warrant. If the original county fails to take custody within a certain amount of time, then the alleged offender may be released.
Similar to out of county warrants, police in Florida can arrest a person for whom an arrest warrant was issued in another state. Again, the alleged offender will be held in custody until he or she can be extradited to the state that originally issued the warrant, and he or she may be released if the original state does not take custody within a certain number of days.
If you know that an outstanding warrant of any kind has been issued for your arrest, the good news is that there are several ways to resolve the matter without having to flee the state or be arrested in public. Some of the possible options include:
You should seek the help of a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can review all of your options to determine the best resolution to your particular case
You should not ignore any warrant authorizing your arrest. It is in your best interest to immediately seek a favorable outcome to these types of cases, and DeFuniak Spring criminal defense attorneys Clay Adkinson and Clayton Adkinson have more than three decades of experienced defending people against criminal charges.
Adkinson Law Firm, LLC helps residents of such communities as DeFuniak Springs, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Panama City, Pensacola, Milton, South Walton, and Destin. Call or submit an online form right now to take advantage of a free legal consultation that will let our criminal defense attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case.