If you find out that you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you may be wondering what to do or how to get rid of a warrant in South Florida. The most important thing you can do is act quickly – a warrant for your arrest means that the police can take you into custody at any time. As experienced warrant lawyers for Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, the criminal defense law firm of Bottari & Doyle can help you try to make your arrest warrant go away. Read our article below on arrest and bench warrants in South Florida, then contact the warrant attorneys at Bottari & Doyle to discuss your case today.
What are the different types of warrants used in Florida?
A warrant is a document issued by a judge that grants the police the authority to arrest a person or to search a person's premises. There are three different types of warrants in Florida: bench warrants, search warrants, and arrest warrants.
A bench warrant is issued by a judge when the defendant fails to appear for a court date or violates probation. The judge wants the defendant to come to court to explain why he or she did not appear in court or violated probation. The police may take active measures to try to locate the defendant to bring the defendant to court. Also, the police may happen to discover the defendant has a warrant for his arrest during a traffic stop of the defendant's vehicle. The judge will typically hold a defendant “no bond” upon the issuance of a bench warrant. This means that the defendant cannot get out of jail until either the case is resolved, or the judge lifts the warrant upon the attorney filing and arguing a bond motion in court. The judge will also “estreat” or take the bond if the defendant was out on bond.
Do you have a warrant out for your arrest? - 561-588-2781
A search warrant signed by a judge authorizes law enforcement to search an individual's person or property. The property is usually a person's house, car or office location. The judge must determine that based on the submitted evidence, probable cause exists to believe evidence of a crime will be
located at the property. The search warrant must describe specifically the place to be searched, the person or things to be taken, the communication (audio/video) and the type of evidence to be obtained. A Search and Seizure criminal defense attorney can challenge the warrant by challenging the judge's probable cause determination, or flaws to the search warrant. Search warrants are necessary to make sure that a person's fourth amendment rights are not violated. Without search warrants, the police would have unfettered access to people and their property.
An arrest warrant is also signed by a judge and this type of warrant allows law enforcement to arrest a person for committing a crime. The law enforcement officer provides his affidavit to the judge who upon review may make a probable cause determination. The judge will sign the arrest warrant if he or she believes there is probable cause to believe the individual named in the warrant has committed a crime. Like a bench warrant, the judge can either issue a bond to the defendant or hold the defendant without bond.
How do I know if I have a Warrant for my arrest in Florida?
To see if you have a warrant you can go to The Florida Crime Information Center's website. There you can fill in the required fields to see if a warrant exists for your arrest. If you are unsuccessful locating the warrant, you can check the county clerk's website where you believe the warrant was issued. There are some counties that offer the ability for users to check warrants. Finally, you can contact a local bail bondsman and ask them to search for the warrant.
How can I get rid of a warrant against me in Florida?
You should retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer if you are looking to have a warrant dismissed. In some cases, a bench warrant can be “set aside” or dismissed. This can be accomplished by an agreement or stipulation between the defense attorney and the prosecutor, or upon the judge's order. Many times a defendant forgets he or she has court, or has a legitimate reason for failing to appear in court (eg. illness, transportation problems, a death in the family). For the bench warrant to be dismissed, the judge will want to see that your failure to appear was not willful. After a bench warrant is set aside, the case resumes and the defendant is typically given a new court date. A search warrant can be challenged by a defense attorney by refuting the judge's probable cause determination.
Do I need a lawyer for a warrant in South Florida?
Yes, more than ever. An active bench warrant or arrest warrant means the police are looking for you. You need an attorney who can try to make the warrant disappear so that you can move on with your life without living in constant fear of being arrested.
If you have a warrant out for your arrest or a bench warrant for missing your court date, contact the experienced warrant attorneys at Bottari & Doyle today to discuss your options at 561-588-2781.