Failure to Appear Warrant

For warrants issued in Broward County, FL, contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We represent clients on warrants after a failure to appear in court. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can file a motion to set aside the failure to appear warrant so that a new court date can be set. We are experienced in filing and litigating motions to set aside a bench warrant in the courtrooms in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding areas in Broward County, FL.

Waiting to be arrested on the warrant means that another mugshot and arrest record will be created. That record is then captured by data mining companies such as mugshot .com, arrest .com, and secretpast.com which will attempt to extort money from you in exchange for removing information about the arrest from their website. If the court simply withdraws the warrant before an arrest, then you can avoid that problem entirely.

People have many reasons for missing a court date. In some cases, the person has a medical emergency, car trouble, or simply forgets to appear. In other cases, the notice for the court date is mailed to the wrong address. Many of the warrants are issued after a violation of probation in a misdemeanor or felony case. Many of these warrants have a no bond provision.

If you have an outstanding warrant, then contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We can help you determine the best way to resolve the warrant and fight the underlying charges. We represent clients after an arrest by officers with the Broward County Sheriff’s office and other local law enforcement agencies including the Metro Broward DUI Task Force, Florida Highway Patrol and police departments from Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie and Wilton Manors.

Failure to Appear - Florida Statute § 843.15

Under Florida Statute § 843.15, a separate crime can be charged after a failure to appear. The statute provides:

843.15 Failure of defendant on bail to appear.—

(1) Whoever, having been released pursuant to chapter 903, willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required shall incur a forfeiture of any security which was given or pledged for her or his release and, in addition, shall:

(a) If she or he was released in connection with a charge of felony or while awaiting sentence or pending review by certiorari after conviction of any offense, be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, or;

(b) If she or he was released in connection with a charge of misdemeanor, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of its power to punish for contempt.

In other words, the failure to appear may constitute a crime in and of itself. Florida Statute § 843.15 provides for a separate crime when the Defendant fails to appear while on pre-trial release on bail. Under Florida Statute 843.15(1)(b), the offense of “bail jumping” is charges as a separate first degree misdemeanor if the person fails to appear in court after posting bail in any misdemeanor case. A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 file.

If the person fails to appear for any felony charge, then the charge is a third degree felony under Florida Statute 843.15(1)(a). A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison and a fine of $5,000.

To prove a violation of Florida Statute § 843.15, the following elements of the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. the defendant was released from custody:
  2. the release was:
    • pursuant to Chapter 903, Florida’s bail statute;
    • in connection with a felony charge;
    • in connection with a misdemeanor charge;
    • while awaiting sentencing; or
    • pending review by certiorari after conviction of an offense.
  3. after the Defendant’s release, the defendant willfully failed to appear as required for a proceeding such as a docket sounding, trial, or sentencing either before a court or judicial officer.

The third degree felony version of Florida Statute Section 843.15(1)(a) for failing to appear while on bail for a felony (bond estreature or bond jumping) is a Level Four offense under Florida's criminal punishment code.


Additional Resources

Failure to Appear Warrant in Florida - Visit the website of the Florida State Legislature to find Statutes under Title XLVII for Criminal Procedure and Corrections under Chapter 901 for arrests. Read more about the issuance of an arrest warrant, the execution of a warrant, how summons are issued and served, when an arrest by an officer without warrant is lawful, when a notice to appear by an officer without a warrant is lawful, and the detention of foreign nationals.


Attorney for a Failure to Appear Warrant in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you have an outstanding failure to warrant in Fort Lauderdale, FL, or the surrounding areas in Broward County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our attorneys for warrants can help you resolve the underlying case while fighting for the best possible result.

Our attorneys represent clients on all types of warrants including an arrest warrant, a failure to appear warrant, an out of state fugitive / extradition warrant, and out of county transport orders.

We represent clients throughout Broward County and the surrounding areas after an arrest by law enforcement officers with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies including the Metro Broward DUI Task Force, Florida Highway Patrol, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Hallandale Police Department, Lauderhill Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, Sunrise Police Department, Plantation Police Department, Davie Police Department and Wilton Manors Police Department.

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