Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Hillsborough County
If you or a loved one is facing a bench warrant, arrest warrant, or VOP warrant, or if you are considering a motion to surrender, you need legal assistance, and you need it quickly. With diligent representation during your arrest and bond procedure, it may even be possible to avoid being booked and having to submit to a “mug shot” that could haunt you for many years to come. Hillsborough County criminal defense attorney Maj Vasigh is ready to guide you through this complicated process.
Understanding Types of Warrants
In knowing and fully exercising your rights, it is important to understand what each type of warrant means. The term “warrant” simply refers to a legal document authorizing the police to make an arrest, conduct a search and seizure, or perform another action related to a particular case. For instance, a “bench warrant” is a warrant that is issued by a judge, directing authorities to arrest a person who has missed a mandatory court date. A bench warrant may also be referred to as a Capias and may be issued by both county and circuit court judges under Florida law. If a person is arrested pursuant to a bench warrant, he or she must post a cash or surety bond in order to be released in most cases. With an attorney’s assistance, it may be possible to get a Capias or bench warrant quashed, avoid having to post bond, and waive the subject’s appearance before the court. If you had a notice to appear issued (arrested, but not formally booked and processed at Orient Road Jail) for a misdemeanor or criminal traffic case and you missed court, you must hire an attorney to avoid having your mugshot taken when you turn yourself in and post bond. Most of our clientele do not want the embarrassment of having their mugshot online for a simple oversight like a suspended license or a missed court date.
Another warrant commonly issued by Florida courts is an “arrest warrant.” These warrants typically issue when a judge or magistrate is presented with evidence that suggests that the subject of the warrant committed a crime. An arrest warrant authorizes police to arrest, detain, and search the person named in the warrant. In order to be valid under the Fourth Amendment, an arrest warrant should show probable cause, be issued by a neutral and detached magistrate, be based on a police affidavit that does not contain known falsehoods, and describe with particularity the person to be arrested. Arrest warrants typically begin the legal process in a criminal case.
By contrast, a “VOP warrant” is issued when the subject is believed to have violated probation, in which case he or she has previously been arrested and convicted of a crime. A person who is subject to a VOP warrant may or may not be entitled to bond, depending upon the severity of the underlying crime. If it’s a Felony VOP in Hillsborough County, there will be a no-bond warrant issues and signed by Judge Daniel Perry. More information about Felony VOPs can be found here. For Felony VOP Warrants, Judge Perry has court usually on Monday through Thursday every morning at 8:30 AM in courtroom 19 downtown. If you do not want to turn yourself in and wait many days or weeks to be seen by the judge, you can file a Motion for Surrender and ROR (Release on Recognizance). Depending on the facts of your case, the goal is for you and the attorney to walk into court together and then walk out of court together.
Regardless of the type of warrant you or your loved one is facing, you should contact an attorney experienced in warrant and bond procedure in order to face the warrant head on, rather than risk the serious consequences that an outstanding warrant may have on your life.
Although having an outstanding warrant may be frightening, warrants must be dealt with through appropriate legal channels. They will not go away on their own and generally do not expire. With an attorney’s assistance, a person named in a warrant may be able to file a motion to surrender, which allows the defendant to turn himself or herself in to authorities rather than be subjected to an arrest in public. A defendant may also be able to minimize the risk of his or her booking photo making it onto an internet “mug shot” site in some situations. The defendant may also file a motion to set bond or request that he or she be released on his or her own recognizance. It may even be possible to get the pending charges dismissed at some point, based on a defective warrant or another violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.
Self Arrest Unit
If you decide against hiring a lawyer but want to turn yourself in on the warrant anyway, you can contact a bail bondsman and/or set up a time to turn yourself in through the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Self Arrest Program, located at 1801 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33619. Their office is open from 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM. Or you can call them at (813) 247-8460.
Discuss a Warrant with a Hillsborough County Criminal Defense Lawyer
You do not have to go through the criminal justice system alone. Residents of Hillsborough County can enlist criminal defense attorney Maj Vasigh to protect their rights. We can be reached 24/7. Call us at (813) 800-1111 or contact us online to discuss a warrant, a bond motion, or another legal issue. We serve people in Tampa, South Tampa, New Tampa, Carrollwood, Brandon, Riverview, and Valrico who need a drug charges attorney, assistance in fighting a DUI charge or a traffic ticket, or representation in a wide range of other felony and misdemeanor cases.