You could face serious consequences if you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest in Florida. For example, if you committed a minor misdemeanor in Florida many years ago and you violated your probation by failing to report or failing to pay all court costs, the state will issue a warrant for your arrest. If you write a worthless check, the state may issue an arrest warrant because bouncing a check in Florida can be a felony.
If you left the state, chances are you would not know about your arrest warrant until a particularly important event occurs. People often find out about outstanding arrest warrants during an employment background check, a traffic stop for speeding or during the process of applying for disability benefits or even a passport. Whatever the circumstance, the Florida arrest warrant could haunt you.
Check here to see if there is a warrant for you in Florida.
Florida Arrest Warrant
An arrest warrant is a document signed by a judge with jurisdiction over the alleged crime allowing the immediate arrest of the suspected offender. If you violate your probation or write a worthless check in Florida, the state prosecutor may seek a warrant for your arrest.
In some cases, the law enforcement authority in your home state could arrest and extradite you to Florida where you must face the charge. Extradition is a process by which a defendant who is physically located in another state can be returned to the state in which the offense was committed to face trial on those charges. Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, an arrest warrant can be issued anywhere in this country. Forty-eight states including Florida have signed the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act.
The failure to take care of a Florida arrest warrant can be very risky. For example, if the police stop you for a traffic violation in your home state, the existence of the Florida warrant could very well show up when the arresting officer runs a background check. Consequently, the officer could arrest you and send you back to Florida.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Criminal arrest warrants do not expire. They remain on you record until you resolve the matter that led to the warrant. An experienced attorney who handles out of state warrants may be able to get the charge dismissed or reduced, negating the need for your return to Florida. A lawyer can also assist with issues such as negotiating a reduction in or the elimination of bail and avoiding jail time.