Notice to Appear on a Misdemeanor

In many misdemeanor cases throughout Florida, the officer will issue a notice to appear instead of making a formal arrest. If you received a notice to appear in court, you should be aware that you are charged with a crime - either a first degree misdemeanor or a second degree misdemeanor.

The definition of the notice to appear is “a written order issued by a law enforcement officer in lieu of physical arrest, requiring a person accused of violating the law to appear in a designated court or governmental office at a specified date and time.”

Although you were not formally arrested, receiving a notice to appear means you have been charged with a criminal offense. A criminal offense that comes with criminal penalties that can include steep fines, a driver's license suspension or revocation, probation, or even jail time. The statutory maximum penalty for a second degree misdemeanor is 60 days. For a first degree misdemeanor the statutory maximum penalty is 12 months in jail. 

A notice to appear is commonly issued for offenses such as:

  1. possession of marijuana;
  2. possession of drug paraphernalia;
  3. petit theft (shoplifting and retail theft);
  4. improper exhibition of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon;
  5. reckless driving;
  6. driving while license suspended with knowledge; and
  7. no valid driver’s license.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale can represent you at every stage of your case --from the initial investigation, first appearance in court, arraignment, pre-trial motion hearings through a trial. We have the training, experience, and passion to help you fight to resolve the case for the best possible result.

Attorney for the Misdemeanor NTA in Broward County, FL

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represent clients throughout the four courthouses in Broward County, including the Central Judicial Complex in Ft. Lauderdale, the North Regional Courthouse in Deerfield Beach, the West Regional Courthouse in Plantation, and the South Regional Courthouse in Hollywood, FL.

We represent clients on a notice to appear issued 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, Florida Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and other area police departments in Hallandale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie and Wilton Manors.

Call us today to discuss your notice to appear in court in Ft. Lauderdale or the surrounding areas in Broward County, FL.

Notice to Appear Issued by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department

Policy 503 Arrest - Notice to Appear in Fort Lauderdale - One of the best ways to understanding how judges, prosecutors and officers view the notice to appear in Broward County, is to read the internal policies of local police department. Visit the website of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to find Policy 503 on “Arrest - Notice to Appear” which was last revised in April of 2014.

It is the policy of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to issue a Notice to Appear when in the judgment of the officer, it will be in the best interest of the public and the City to do so and the offense meets the guidelines of Florida Statute 901.28 and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.125.

If a person is arrested for an offense declared to be a misdemeanor of the first or second degree or for a violation of a municipal or county ordinance, triable in the county court and does not demand to be taken before a magistrate, the arresting officer or booking officer may issue such person a Notice to Appear unless:

  • The accused fails to identify them self-sufficiently or supply the required information;
  • The accused refuses to sign the Notice to Appear;
  • The officer has reason to believe that the continued liberty of the accused constitutes an unreasonable risk of bodily injury to them self or others;
  • There is substantial risk that they will refuse to respond to the notice;
  • The officer has any suspicion that the accused may be wanted in any jurisdiction; or
  • It appears that the accused has previously failed to respond to a notice or a summons or has violated the conditions of any pretrial release program.

If a Notice to Appear is issued for a misdemeanor or violation of a municipal or county ordinance, the notice shall be issued with minimal delay. The arresting officer shall prepare, in quadruplicate, a written Notice to Appear for court purposes containing the following information:

  • Name and address of the accused;
  • Date of offense;
  • Offense(s) charged — by statute and municipal ordinance as applicable;
  • Counts of each offense;
  • Name and address of the trial court having jurisdiction to try the offense(s) charged;
  • Name of the arresting officer;
  • Name(s) of any other person(s) charged at the same time; or
  • Signature of the accused (a fingerprint cannot be substituted for a signature).

For a notice to appear issued by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department Offense, the officer is not required to complete the Incident Report (Z-496) Form in conjunction with the Notice to Appear. A properly prepared Notice to Appear can suffice as the arresting officer’s report of the incident. The narrative section of the Notice to Appear shall be a complete documentation of the incident, not just limited to the elements of the offense.

Finding an Attorney for a Notice to Appear in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Whether you were formally arrested and booked into the jail or whether you were issued a notice to appear at a court date in the future, the criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have the experience necessary to represent you on the charges. We fight felony and misdemeanor cases throughout Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas of Broward County, FL.

We represent clients with warrants issued throughout the four courthouses in Broward County including the Central Judicial Complex in Ft. Lauderdale, the South Regional Courthouse in Hollywood, FL, the West Regional Courthouse in Plantation, and the North Regional Courthouse in Deerfield Beach, FL.

We are familiar with the tactics used by officers with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and other local law enforcement agencies including the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Hallandale Police Department, Lauderhill Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, Sunrise Police Department, Plantation Department, Davie Police Department and Wilton Manors Police Department. We are also familiar with effective ways to fight charges brought by the Metro Broward DUI Task Force, and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (954) 716-8538 to discuss your case today.

This article was last updated on Monday, January 18, 2016.

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