How to Remove Old Warrants in FloridaPublished: May 23, 2018 by Erika Valcarcel
Many Floridians have old warrants against them. In fact, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported in 2011 that there were more than 100,000 outstanding warrants in the state for felony offenses alone.
If you are in need of a criminal defense in Florida, you should seek the help of a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer who can help you with your case. For a free and confidential consultation, call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900.
What Is a Warrant?
A warrant is an order from a judge or magistrate that gives law enforcement officers the authority to seize a person or their possessions. There are several types of warrants, including:
- Arrest warrants: These warrants are issued against those accused of crimes.
- Search warrants: These give the police the ability to search private property.
- Bench warrants: These are issued against people who fail to appear in court.
Bench warrants never expire, while search warrants must be executed and returned to the judge within 10 days of being issued. As for arrest warrants, they don’t technically expire, but the authorities may lose the ability to charge you with a crime after a certain number of years has passed since the alleged offense. However, some crimes do not have statutes of limitation.
If you are subject to a bench warrant or an arrest warrant, even for a minor crime, you should not ignore it. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer and handling your warrant early on can give you a better chance of obtaining a favorable case outcome.
Can a Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer Remove an Old Warrant?
If an arrest warrant is for a misdemeanor, the judge who issued it likely included a bail amount. The bail represents the amount of money you need to pay to the court to avoid jail while awaiting trial. So, if you have an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor, you may be able to turn yourself in to the authorities and pay your bail.
For felonies and more serious misdemeanor cases, there may be no bail amount associated with the warrant. This means that you can only avoid an extended jail stay by turning yourself in and then attending a preliminary hearing during which the judge may set an amount. The outcome of this preliminary hearing depends on the judge.
A good criminal defense attorney may be able to help you receive a preliminary hearing quickly, and convince the judge you are not a danger to the public. If the judge accepts these arguments, they may set a reasonable bail amount.
If you are subject to a bench warrant, then a lawyer may be able to have the warrant recalled if there is a good reason why you failed to appear in court. The associated charge of failure to appear may be dismissed in some situations. Every case is unique, however, so if you want to know if your bench warrant may be recalled, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer.
Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. for Help Today
If you are unsure if you have any old warrants, you can check the website of the Florida Crime Information Database or the website of the sheriff’s office of the jurisdiction that might have issued a warrant against you. Bail bondsmen are also able to determine if you have any outstanding warrants quickly. If these searches show that you have an order against you, Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel can help. Contact us today at (941) 363-7900 for a free and confidential consultation about how to deal with your outstanding warrant.