Warrants 101

If you’ve ever seen a legal drama or bounty hunter television show, you might have heard a little bit about warrants. Warrants are governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 901, and despite popular belief to the contrary, you do have rights when a warrant is issued for your arrest. 

In this brief article, a defense attorney in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan shares a few basics about warrants and what your rights are if a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  

Types of Warrants

There are two main types of warrants, an arrest warrant and a bench warrant. 

  • Arrest warrant: An arrest warrant is issued when the police feel they have enough evidence that you committed a crime. This warrant is requested by a detective or a police officer and is issued by a judge. Once you’re in custody, you may be held without bail until an arraignment or release hearing, at which time bail/bond will be discussed. 
  • Bench warrant: A bench warrant directs law enforcement to take a person into custody and bring them before the court to address the reason the warrant was issued. The most common reasons a bench warrant is issued is for failure to appear, violating probation, or failure to comply with a court order to pay a fine, complete community service, pay child support, or do some other act. You may be held until a hearing or until the reason is addressed and resolved. 

Where Do Warrants Apply?

Defined by Florida Statute Chapter 901, an arrest warrant: 

“… shall be directed to all sheriffs of the state. A warrant shall be executed only by the sheriff of the county in which the arrest is made unless the arrest is made in fresh pursuit, in which event it may be executed by any sheriff who is advised of the existence of the warrant. An arrest may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.”

In other words, anywhere you reside or are located within the state, you may be arrested for a warrant originally issued in another county or city. 

What Are Your Rights?

If there is an arrest warrant or bench warrant issued against you, you might feel that you have no rights. Although you may choose to turn yourself in, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to work with the law enforcement agency to tie up loose ends at work and home before turning yourself in, depending on the crime. 

You will need the best criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan to discuss your case. You may be able to avoid jail time and address your warrant and find resolution. 

For a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.