Once you find out that you have an arrest warrant, one of the best ways to have that warrant lifted, removed or recalled is to hire a Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer. We do not recommend waiting to be arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant or direct capias because many times law enforcement will come with some level of force or a display of force. The attorneys at Fernandez and Hernandez Law Firm, in Tampa, FL, are available 7-days a week to help you in your time of need. By being proactive on the outstanding warrant, you can help resolve your case with one of the best outcomes.
Is Hiring a Lawyer for a Warrant Expensive?
Hiring a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney to handle your outstanding warrant is not as expensive as you think. The price depends on the charges but quite often hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your outstanding warrant will pay for itself.
Here’s how: If you have an outstanding warrant or capias for failure to appear and this warrant carries a $50,000 bond, you would have to pay 10% of that bond in order to post bond (i.e., $5,000). However, hiring a Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer for $1,500, we could possibly have that bond reduced by the Court to $10,000 (meaning you would need to pay 10% of $10,000 or $1,000). Thus, hiring a Tampa cost you a total of $2,500 and you saved $2,500. This clearly shows that hiring an attorney actually paid for itself. Set aside the fact that you may have saved money, you quite possibly saved yourself some stress and embarrassment.
Why Not Just Surrender Myself on the Warrant?
We ethically and legally obligated to tell those with warrants to turn themselves in or surrender to the Sheriff’s office. However, surrendering on the warrant will result in another mugshot and another arrest record. Sometimes your attorney might be able to file a ‘motion to surrender’ so that we can ask the judge to immediately set aside the warrant so that you do not have to go into custody or post a bond.
Hire an attorney as early in the process as possible. Hiring an attorney to assist you early in the case might ultimately save you money, stress, and embarrassment.
How Many Arrest Warrants Are Issued in Tampa?
In 2018, more than 15,000 warrants remained active in Hillsborough County. Even more surprising, a recent study found that one (1) out of five (5) misdemeanor traffic cases in Hillsborough County resulted in a capias warrant being issued for a failure to appear in court.
What Happens If I Do Not Show Up to Court?
If you do not appear or show up to a criminal hearing that you have been court-ordered to show up to, the Court will issue a Failure to Appear warrant or Capias. If the warrant was issued for a failure to appear (often called the ‘FTA’ warrant), a criminal defense lawyer can usually have the warrant or capias issued relatively quickly by simply filing a ‘motion to withdraw’ the FTA warrant or capias so that you can avoid being taken into custody.
The motion to withdraw the warrant is sometimes called a ‘motion to quash’ the warrant.
Where Do I Find Arrest Warrants in Hillsborough County, FL?
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have most warrants listed on their respective websites. However, the attorneys at Fernandez and Hernandez Law Firm are experienced in helping people with an outstanding arrest warrant in Tampa and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. This is important because sometimes law enforcement will sit on a warrant and not publish them under what they call a ‘pocket warrant.’ We can help you at all stages of the case.
Whether your arrest warrant is for a new offense, a bench warrant for violation of probation, or a capias for failing to appear in court, we can help.
Contact us to speak with an attorney about your capias, arrest warrant, extradition warrant or bench warrant for a case in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, the surrounding areas or anywhere in the State of Florida.
Call (813) 813-229-5353 today.
How to Resolve an Outstanding Warrant?
When you contact our office about your outstanding bench or arrest warrant, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you resolve the warrant or capias in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.
Resolving the arrest warrant in Hillsborough County, FL, requires determining whether:
- a warrant for your arrest exists;
- a bond amount is attached to the warrant;
- the warrant is a ‘no bond’ warrant that will not allow you to bond out of jail until after you see the judge at first appearance;
- your attorney should file a ‘Motion to Quash’ an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court;
- you should surrender yourself at the jail on the warrant or whether you should accompany your attorney to court on a ‘Motion to Surrender.’
Your criminal defense attorney in Tampa, FL, can also help you invoke your right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment and your right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment so that the investigating officers will not attempt to interrogate you about the allegations.
Can I Get My Bond Reduced to a Lower Amount on a Warrant?
Yes, your criminal defense attorney can help you schedule an emergency bond reduction motion so that your attorney can petition the court to lower the bond amount to a more reasonable amount given your financial circumstance.
Alternatively, your attorney can schedule a bond motion to ask the court to release you on a signature bond (release on own recognizance or ROR bond) that does not require you to post any money with a bail bondsman.
Additionally, your attorney can defend you against the underlying charges so that you can effectively fight for the best possible results. In some cases, the failure to appear occurs after the arresting officer issues a Notice to Appear instead of making a formal arrest.
What Types of Arrest Warrants Are There in Florida?
The following types of arrest warrants exist in Florida:
- The probable cause warrant;
- Bench warrant for failure to appear in court or pay a fine (also known as a capias) after a formal arrest or the issuance of a notice to appear;
- Direct Capias in the form of a writ prepared by the Clerk of Circuit Court;
- Direct file arrest warrant issued by the State Attorney’s Office with a finding of probable cause;
- An arrest warrant was issued for a probation violation;
- Pick Up Order (PUO or order to take a juvenile into custody) issued by a judge in juvenile court;
- Out of State warrant (also known as the fugitive from justice warrant); or
- Out of County warrant (being held in Hillsborough County, FL, while awaiting transport to another county in Florida).
How do I know if the court issued a warrant for my arrest?
Many people find out about the warrant when their bail bond company sends them a postcard that says ‘Notice of Active Arrest Warrant’ in the mail. The bail bond companies will tell you whether you qualify for a ‘self-arrest’ program (sometimes called the ‘walkthrough’) that will take care of the warrant without the need to go through the normal process of being booked into the Orient Road Jail. Being proactive to surrender on the bond will also make sure that officers will not arrest you at your home or work.
If the warrant involves a failure to appear (especially after you were issued a ‘notice to appear’) or a warrant issued in connection with a violation of probation, then you should contact an attorney to discuss your options. You can also check the FDLE website to search for an outstanding warrant in Florida by entering your name.
You can also perform a local search in the county in which you think the warrant was issued. For instance, if an officer with the Tampa Police Department obtained the arrest warrant, then after it is entered into the system, it can be found in on online search on the website for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The website for the sheriff’s office in each county maintains their warrant or wanted person search feature. You can also find the warrant on the FDLE warrant inquiry search feature.
Resolving the arrest warrant is important because while you are a ‘fugitive from justice’ you lose your right to possess a firearm as explained in 18 U.S.C. s. 922(g).
Will the Cops Come to My House Looking for Me if there is a Warrant?
The Hillsborough County Sheriff Office (HCSO) Warrants Section participates in several warrant round-up operations each year, including operations with the U.S. Marshal’s Service targeting violent fugitives. There are no guarantees on whether they will come to your house or not.
With the cooperation of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court, the State Attorney’s Office and our legal staff, hundreds of dated warrants are canceled due to statutory limitations. Warrants are also removed for fugitives found to be deceased.
Can I Turn Myself In On a Warrant?
Yes, you may turn yourself in on the Self-Arrest Program at Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. If you have an outstanding warrant and a reasonable bond has already been set, then use the self-arrest program offered by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office if you are otherwise eligible.
If you are eligible for the self-arrest program in Hillsborough County you might be able to avoid being booked into the jail where you will have your possessions taken and inventoried, be fingerprinted, go through a medical screening, and psychological evaluation, and be dressed in an orange jumpsuit.
Instead, the self-arrest program in Tampa, FL, lets you go to a building near the jail to turn yourself in and take care of the bail. The hours for the self-arrest program at 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday (not including county holidays).
To be eligible for self-arrest, you must have a valid Florida ID and be dressed appropriately, be fingerprinted and photographed, have your identity verified, and be assigned a computer-generated booking number, and wait between 20 minutes to two hours. If you use the self-arrest program, you must be ready to post the bail with a cash bond or through a bondsman when you arrive.
Any Hillsborough County self-arrest after 3:00 p.m. will be processed at the Orient Road Jail located at 1801 Orient Road, Tampa, FL 33619. If you go to the Orient Road Jail, the process might six (6) hours or more. The self-arrest program is much more convenient because you can avoid sitting in central booking waiting for hours to be processed.
Finding a Lawyer for a Warrant in Tampa, FL
The fact that you did not voluntarily surrender on the warrant is perhaps the most important factor the court will consider when determining the bond amount you must pay before being released from custody. The best way to resolve your outstanding and active capias or arrest warrant depends on the particular circumstances of your case and the particular procedures allowed by the judge that will decide the issues involved. As a general rule, there are different potential ways to resolve the warrant that might include one of the following:
- Use a self-arrest program that will take care of the warrant without the normal booking process at the jail, if available in your area.
- Turn yourself in on the warrant and make arraignments for your attorney to represent you at the first appearance court which normally occurs the next morning at 9:00 a.m.
- For a VOP or FTA warrant, appear in court with your attorney on a ‘motion to surrender’ to ask the judge that will ultimately hear the case to withdraw the warrant or grant a ROR bond on the warrant so that you can be released the same day without posting bond.
- Have your attorney file a motion to withdraw the FTA warrant or capias based on a failure to appear in court if it can be shown that the failure to appear was inadvertent or unintentional.
The Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys are the Fernandez and Hernandez Law Firm are experienced in helping our clients resolve an outstanding arrest warrant. We also represent clients after they are served with a search warrant in Tampa, FL, at their home or business. We are experienced resolving a wide variety of warrants including an arrest warrant, a violation of probation warrant, a failure to appear capias, a bench warrant, an out of county warrant, an extradition warrant, or a Governor’s warrant. Contact us to speak directly with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa about the best way to resolve your case. Read more about resolving an arrest warrant in Pasco County.