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Arrest warrants are issued for a variety of reasons, most commonly when an alleged offender is suspected of having committed a criminal offense or when a person missed a court appearance. When a warrant is issued for a person's arrest, it is a court order authorizing law enforcement to arrest the named individual and take him or her into custody.
Arrest warrants do not simply go away. Unless a judge recalls the warrant, the only way that an active warrant for your arrest—information that is shared by law enforcement agencies across the United States—will no longer be outstanding is if you are placed under arrest.
If you believe that an arrest warrant has been issued against you in north central Florida, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Galigani Law Firm defends clients all over the greater Gainesville area throughout the criminal process, including residents of and visitors to communities in Bradford County, Columbia County, Alachua County, and Baker County.
Gainesville criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. You can have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (352) 375-0812 to receive a free, confidential consultation.
In a criminal case, law enforcement obtains an arrest warrant by submitting a written affidavit under oath to a Florida judge or magistrate. The affidavit must contain specific information that establishes probable cause, meaning that there is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime was committed and the individual named in the arrest warrant committed that crime.
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.121 establishes that an arrest warrant, when issued, shall:
If a judge or magistrate signs off on a warrant, the judge or magistrate can also issue a “No Bond” warrant. A No Bond warrant means that an alleged offender will not be able to bond out of jail immediately after being arrested and either must wait until his or her next court date or request a bond hearing.
An arrest warrant issued as part of criminal investigations is one of several types of warrants. Other common examples of arrest warrants include the following:
A bench warrant is a warrant, typically issued by a judge from the bench when an alleged offender has not appeared for a scheduled court date. A bench warrant issued in a misdemeanor case is usually referred to as a failure to appear (FTA) warrant, while a bench warrant issued in a felony case is known as an alias capias. Misdemeanor bench warrants usually have bonds amounts that can range between hundreds and thousands of dollars, while felony bench warrants are often “No Bond” warrants.
A direct file arrest warrant is a warrant issued when an alleged offender failed to appear in court after being issued a summons in a direct information case filed by the state attorney’s office. Direct file arrest warrants are most commonly issued in cases involving alleged driving under the influence (DUI) offenses, such as crashes in which law enforcement was still collecting evidence or waiting on results from blood draws.
Probation violation warrants are usually issued by judges after probation officers have filed violation affidavits with the court. Violations of probation can be either technical (infractions such as missing appointments with probation officers or leaving restricted jurisdictions without permission) or substantive (new arrests).
When an alleged offender is arrested in one Florida county on a felony or misdemeanor warrant issued by another county, the arresting county will usually maintain custody for a certain number of days until the alleged offender can be extradited to the county that originally issued the warrant. An alleged offender could be released, however, if the original county fails to take custody within the certain number of days.
Just as law enforcement agencies are authorized to arrest individuals based on warrants issued by other counties, they can also arrest people based on warrants issued by other states. Similar to the county process, alleged offenders typically remain in custody until they can be extradited to the original state but can be released if the original state fails to take custody within a specified amount of time.
After an arrest warrant has been issued, the person named in the warrant has several ways of resolving the matter. If a warrant was improperly issued or was issued as the result of a person missing a court date because of extenuating circumstances, the alleged offender can file a petition to have the warrant withdrawn.
A Gainesville criminal defense lawyer can negotiate the terms of an alleged offender's surrender with law enforcement or appear in court on a "motion to surrender" to ask a judge to withdraw the warrant or grant a Release On Recognizance (ROR) bond so the alleged offender can be immediately released without posting bond. Every case is different, so some people may have options available to them that others do not.
Warrants Bureau | Alachua County Sheriff's Office — The Warrants Bureau is responsible for the services of all adult criminal summons issued in Alachua County. The agency encourages all people who think they may have active warrants or civil arrest orders to turn themselves in 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Alachua County Sheriff's Office Department of the Jail in Gainesville. Visit this section of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office website to learn more about the difference between a criminal summons and an arrest warrant.
Alachua County Sheriff's Office
2621 SE Hawthorne Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32641
Wanted Persons | Florida Crime Information Center — The Florida Crime Information Center is a database containing Florida warrant information as reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) by law enforcement agencies throughout the state and authorized for release to the public. The FDLE notes that this information is not to be used as a confirmation that any warrant is active, or as probable cause for an arrest, and should not be relied upon for any type of legal action. The FDLE recommends that people verify that a warrant is active with their local law enforcement agency or with the reporting agency.
Do you know or think that you have an active warrant for your arrest? Contact Galigani Law Firm right now for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Gainesville who represents individuals in Bradford County, Union County, Columbia County, Baker County, and several other communities in the greater Gainesville area. Call (352) 375-0812 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
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"Dean Galigani was supportive when my son was arrested for underage possession of alcohol..." - David