As a criminal defense attorney, I encounter clients in North Florida who have open warrants on a regular basis. In fact, having an open warrant is very common throughout all of Florida. The following discussion addresses some of the most common questions I encounter in regards to open warrants and capiases.
What do I do if I have a warrant?
The first thing you should do is contact an attorney.
When someone contacts my office in need of assistance with an outstanding warrant I will immediately research the situation and determine why the warrant was issued, who the judge is, and what the best legal strategy is to deal with the warrant. Knowing the reasons for the warrant, the nature of the charges, and your criminal history (if any), will help me assess the situation.
In most cases, I will then file a “Motion to Vacate Warrant” on your behalf, assuming that is the proper course of action given the specifics of your case. Once the motion is filed, the next step is to argue it in court and appear before your judge. After hearing argument, most judges will grant the motion and then order the warrant be lifted. In legal terms, this means the warrant is “vacated.”
Will I need to appear in court?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no!
Depending on the reason for the warrant, the nature of the charges, and the specific judge, you may or may not be required to appear in court. In many cases it is unnecessary for you to come to court if an attorney is handling the motion for you. However, you should realize that this is not a set rule and your particular judge may require your appearance.
This is why you need an attorney. Knowing the specifics and who the judge is will help me assess your situation and determine if your presence is required.