Criminal prosecution can be a scary situation after you have made a moral error and find yourself in serious trouble. Once you’ve broken the law, in most circumstances, you can be charged and taken into custody depending on how serious the crime was, but this doesn’t always mean an arrest. In 2019 alone, there were 679,221 arrests in Florida, but many more individuals were charged with a crime even without being taken into custody or arrested. If you have been recently charged and are not sure what approach to take, contact a reputable criminal defense law firm to help guide you through the process. Here are ways that you can experience being charged or taken into custody without an arrest.
Criminal Violation Citation
You may have been sent a citation for a criminal traffic violation. This notice to appear in court requires you to appear before the judge or jury. If you don’t appear in court, you will be issued a bench warrant for your arrest. A traffic citation can be criminal but not so serious that it requires an arrest.
Charged Without Arrest
You may have been charged with a criminal offense after the State Attorney’s Office received a formal complaint from law enforcement. For misdemeanors in Florida, the court typically will issue a warrant for your arrest so you can be taken into custody. Arrests for misdemeanors typically require a warrant if the officer didn’t witness the misdemeanor. An arrest for a misdemeanor can’t be made unless it’s on the exception list. A warrantless arrest can happen in limited cases, such as domestic violence, criminal activities, retail theft, and battery.
Detained Under Suspicion
A police officer may detain you due to a strong suspicion so they can conduct a search. This isn’t the same as an arrest, and they can only detain you during the search. If there is no evidence to prove that they have a reason to arrest you, you will be let go. Additionally, in order for the detention to be legal, there has to be a reasonable circumstance for them to search you.
You may be charged with crimes that happened many years ago. You can still be charged with a felony in the first degree four years after it was committed. On the other hand, you can be charged with a felony three years after it has been committed. Any misdemeanor criminal charges can be punished with fines rather than jail time, but in the case of a felony, you may receive an arrest warrant.
Find Out More From A Criminal Law Attorney
Criminal law is treated differently in court than civil law. If you believe your charges may result in arrest or you were already arrested, make sure that you have a criminal law attorney defending you. Your attorney will protect your rights as a defendant. They use evidence to represent you and prevent any mistreatment by authorities. Any form of illegal treatment or practice can result in evidence being thrown out or charges being dropped. Find out how to improve your case results by speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal attorney today.