Arrest Warrants Attorney
Arrest Warrants authorize law enforcement to arrest you for a suspected crime. Although they can be issued for many reasons, the most common are for a failure to appear in court or when a prosecutor directly charges you with a crime.
In Florida, arrest warrants do not expire and can seriously damage your record and future. They can hang out there and can surface at the most unexpected times. Anyone who has an arrest warrant issued in their name must contact an Arrest Warrant attorney as soon as possible to determine the repercussions and status of bond.
If there is a warrant for your arrest, a specific department from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will be tasked with finding you and taking you to jail. These officers know nothing about your case and don’t care about your case. Their sole mission is to arrest you. Often, they will show up at your house in overwhelming numbers in an attempt to intimidate you into surrender without incident. The whole process is ridiculous, but is common practice in Pinellas County.
Arrest Warrants Lawyer in Pinellas County
Sean McQuaid has been successfully defending people with arrest warrants for over 20 years. Mr. McQuaid is President at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., which for over 60 years has been providing the Tampa Bay area with exceptional legal assistance.
Mr. McQuaid is highly respected by the State Attorney’s Office and the Judges at the Pinellas Justice Center. He has received a perfect ranking from numerous review sources, from his peers, the judges he practices in front of, and his clients and their families. Mr. McQuaid knows every judge and prosecutor that will be handling your case, which can give you a significant advantage.
If you have an arrest warrant, please contact Sean McQuaid today for a free consultation.
What are Arrest Warrants?
An arrest warrant is an order issued by a judge. It authorizes law enforcement to make an arrest and detain an individual in custody at the jail where the arrest was made. In most cases, law enforcement does not need to obtain a warrant before making an arrest. Those are called probable cause arrests, which are different from arrest warrants. Example of probable cause warrants are:
- They witnessed a suspect commit a misdemeanor or felony.
- They witnessed a suspect commit a traffic violation.
- They have probable cause to believe a suspect has committed a crime.
How Are Arrest Warrants Issued?
Law enforcement and/or a prosecutor must submit a written affidavit for review by a judge. If the judge determines probable cause a crime was committed, then an arrest warrant is issued. The affidavit is given under oath and must contain facts that establish probable cause and the suspect’s name. These affidavits are a great way for you and your criminal defense attorney to learn about a case quickly.
Types of Warrants in Florida
Criminal Arrest Warrants
Florida Statute § 901.02 states that a judge can issue an arrest warrant for a crime if probable cause exists. If a person has an active arrest warrant, they can still resolve it without being arrested.
An arrest warrant attorney will review the order and assess its validity and the bond amount. They will seek to file a petition to withdraw the warrant or negotiate terms of surrender to keep the suspect’s record clean.
Arrest warrants are often issued for:
- Assault and Battery
- Boating Under Influence (BUI)
- Criminal traffic cases
- Domestic violence cases
- Driving Under Influence (DUI)
- Drug Sales and Manufacturing
- Drug Trafficking
- Gun and Weapon Chargers
- Property crimes
- Violation of probation
Bench warrants are issued frequently in Pinellas county for alleged offenders who fail to appear in court (FTA) for misdemeanor or felony hearing dates. This often happens when people forget the date or didn’t receive the correct notice in the mail.
If a person has a bench warrant in Pinellas County, they can be arrested, taken to custody, processed through the Pinellas County Jail and released upon payment of a cash bond, if applicable. Bench warrants can be removed without going into custody with the help of an arrest warrant attorney only if you act quickly. If you can successfully convince the judge that the terms of the bench warrant can be changed, you can either save yourself a lot of money, avoid jail, or just simply look good to the judge by being proactive and apologetic.
Alias Capias Warrants
Alias Capias warrants are issued in felony cases when a defendant fails to appear in court. The difference between Alias Capias and bench warrants is that the defendant cannot be released from custody with a cash bond.
An arrest warrant attorney must secure a new bond once the defendant has been brought before a judge. If there is a history of missing court dates, the judge may not be inclined to provide a new bond.
The Consequences of Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant is a major cause for concern because you need to act. As the consequences pile up, you can be stuck in a very difficult system to get out of. Often, these warrants come out of the blue, many months after the incident and catch you by surprise.
Jail time and fines can significantly damage your record and adversely affect your employment future. A warrant can be found through a background check, can prevent you from owning a firearm and in some circumstances, qualifying to rent. Warrants may freeze Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. That’s without mentioning the severe stress and embarrassment placed on yourself, family, friends and co-workers.
What to Do If You Have an Arrest Warrant in Pinellas County
Don’t wait for the police to find you. Taking a proactive approach is the best way to resolve an arrest warrant. By working with an arrest warrant lawyer, you can receive expert advice that guides you through the procedures to keep your record clean and keep you out of jail.
Arrest warrant attorneys will:
- Determine if you have any outstanding warrants to your name.
- Determine the required bond amount for release or if you have a “no-bond” warrant.
- Consider whether you should “motion to surrender” and negotiate the terms.
- Consider other possible defense strategies, such as mistaken identity or lack of probable cause.
- Protect your rights against self-incrimination.
- Fight for your release from custody by scheduling an emergency bond reduction hearing to petition the court for a reasonable bond amount.
Bond Hearing Process
If you’ve been arrested for a crime, there is often a chance for you to have a bond issued. Usually, warrants based on failure to appear in court will have a $0 bond or a bond that ends in $13. In this scenario, you will need an experienced arrest warrant attorney to file a motion to set a bond. At the bond hearing, you will have to argue about your ties to the community, perhaps have family members appear, and otherwise show the judge why you are not a danger.
What is a Bond?
A bond is an amount of money that a judge has determined that you need to pay in order to be released from jail. If you learn of the warrant and can get a lawyer quickly, he or she may be able to convince the judge to lower that bond amount. Most people hire a bail bondsman to post that bond for them. A bail bondsman charges 10% of the total amount of the bond as their fee to get you out of jail. As a condition of your release from jail, you must agree to comply with your release terms. If you fail to meet these terms, the bond will be revoked, the money will be forfeited, and you will either wind up in jail or have another arrest warrant issued.
To determine if you’re eligible for a bond, Sean McQuaid will contact the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Warrants desk at (727)582-6192. We will then determine a plan to either turn you in directly to the judge or to the jail to get the warrant resolved. For misdemeanors, your chances are much better than we can avoid you being taken into custody.
Florida Arrest Warrant Facts
- There are over 650,000 arrests in Florida every year.
- In 2017 there were 35,318 violent crimes and 90,918 nonviolent crimes.
- The remaining 585,595 were for minor offenses or white-collar crimes.
- 603,080 were adult men and 145,423 women.
- In 2017, 36,566 individuals were arrested in Pinellas County from 962,003 residents.
- Pinellas County is the sixth highest in Florida for both arrests and population.
Hire an Arrest Warrants Lawyer in Pinellas County
Getting the warrant withdrawn or resolved quickly is the best way to avoid damaging your future. If you have an arrest warrant in Pinellas County, contact Sean McQuaid today. His proactive approach will help you resolve your arrest warrant correctly and minimize the consequences.
St Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Sean McQuaid has vast experience helping people like you resolve their arrest warrants, avoid a criminal record, and stay out of jail. Consultations are always free of charge, so please do not delay.
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