Can I Remove an Old Warrant in a Florida Criminal Case?
Not all encounters with the Florida criminal justice system start with an arrest and taking you away in handcuffs. In some situations, a warrant will be issued against you for various reasons, possibly – but not always – involving an arrest. Regardless of the underlying circumstances, many people don’t fully understand how warrants work and the legal implications. One of the biggest drawbacks of this confusion is that you could have an outstanding warrant on your record. Though you can find this information out by conducting a search through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, having the warrant removed is much more complicated.
If you believe there’s a warrant on your record and you want to know about your legal options for removing it, you should seek the help of a skilled Florida criminal defense lawyer. However, some general information may be useful.
How Warrants Work in Florida: In general terms, a warrant is a court order issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement to take certain actions. There are three types that arise often in connection with Florida criminal proceedings:
- Arrest Warrants: These give police the power to charge you with a crime and take you into custody. They don’t technically expire, but the statute of limitations on some offenses may prevent authorities from pursuing a case.
- Search Warrants: This type authorizes police to search private property. Officers must act right away to execute and return the search warrant within 10 days after entry.
- Bench warrants, which are issued against people who fail to appear in court. They never expire, which is why you could have one against you – in full force and effect. If this is the case, officers can arrest you during a completely unrelated encounter.
Strategies for Removing an Old Warrant: The specifics for getting rid of a warrant obviously depend on the type. The two forms that have consequences for your rights are arrest and bench warrants. To effectively remove them from your record, you’ll need to go through the proper process for each.
- If you have an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor, it likely includes an amount for bail – the amount that you’ll need to deposit with the court to remain free while you await trial. The best approach is to turn yourself in, pay the bail amount, and prepare to defend your case.
- For serious misdemeanors and felony charges, some arrest warrants will not include a bail amount. At a preliminary hearing, you can argue for bail. There’s a chance that you’ll be denied and held until trial.
- When there’s a bench warrant in your criminal record, you may be able to have it recalled. You’ll still need to address the underlying charges and present evidence showing why you didn’t appear in court for the case.
Get Help with Warrants from a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
If a search reveals that you have any type of warrant against you, solid legal representation is critical. At the office of Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Kevin J. Kulik, our team has experience in handling these matters. We can help you understand your rights, so please contact our firm to set up a no-cost, confidential consultation about how to deal with your outstanding warrant.