The good news, you were not arrested. The bad news, you have been charged with a crime and have pending court dates.
If you have received a Notice to Appear for a criminal offense, contact Criminal Defense Attorney Shawn Lupella for a free consultation to discuss the implications and what do to next.
Just because you were given a Notice to Appear instead of being formally arrested, you still face real criminal charges. These are not tickets or infractions, so the result of your case will be a part of your actual criminal record.
What is a Notice to Appear?
The legal definition, according to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure is that a notice to appear is a written order issued by law enforcement in lieu of a physical arrest requiring a person accused of violating the law to appear in a designated court at a specified time.
Don’t take it lightly! If you fail to appear at the designated court on that specified date, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
For certain crimes, it is quite common for a law enforcement officer to issue a notice to appear for a misdemeanor offense. Also referred to as a criminal summons, a notice to appear has the legal effect of an arrest in terms of initiating a criminal case against you, but without having to be cuffed, placed in the back of a patrol car, and taken to jail for booking. Here in Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa County, we mostly see notices to appear given for the following misdemeanor crimes:
- Possession of Alcohol by a Person under 21 (Minor in Possession)
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of Legend Drug
- Petit Theft
- Retail Theft (Shoplifting)
- Driving on License Suspended or Revoked (DWLSR)
- No Valid Driver’s License
- Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Experience Matters. Attorney Shawn Lupella can help you deal with your Notice to Appear and pending criminal charges in Okaloosa County and work toward the best possible result. Call me today to discuss your individual situation or schedule an office appointment at one of my offices in Fort Walton Beach (850)362-6655 or Destin (850)424-5240.