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Florida Warrant Search

You can perform a Florida Warrant Search to seek warrants issued by state courts and law enforcement agencies.

In this state, a warrant allows law enforcement to search, apprehend, and detain an individual. People usually get these papers when they are found guilty of a crime, owe money to the court, or are in court contempt.

According to the Florida Statutes, a judge can issue a warrant if there is probable cause based on the available complaints and proofs. Thus, it indicates that a Florida judge must determine that there must be legitimate reasons to issue the warrant.

In Florida, courts often issue warrants for various reasons related to the administration of justice and law enforcement. However, any law enforcement officer requesting or requiring a warrant must show the judge probable cause to avoid violating an individual Fourth Amendment rights.   

After issuing these documents, police officers utilize them to put a suspect in custody. Additionally, law enforcement agencies can use warrants to search the individual's residence for additional evidence.

Can you obtain a Florida warrant? Generally speaking, warrants are part of the Florida Criminal Records. And according to Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, anyone may inspect and copy these records without stating their purpose.

How Long Does a Warrant Remain in Florida?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing criminal charges against a suspect varies depending on the crime severity. A warrant in this state, however, is exempt from such restrictions.

For the most part, Florida warrants do not fall under the purview of applicable statute limitations. 

There are cases that certain warrants remain active even after the statute of limitations for the infringement or crime for which the court issued the warrant has expired. It means, for example, that police officers can still arrest someone for a felony crime even after the time limit has passed.

Warrants in Florida, however, are only rendered ineffective under specific conditions, including but not limited to the following:

  • The judge calls off the warrant.
  • The individual executed the warrant through an arrest, a sentence, or the payment of fines.
  • The suspect dies before the resolution of the warrant.
  • The individual removes it legally from their record.

It is important to understand that an outstanding warrant will not expire in this state by just waiting it out or leaving the country. Therefore, take the necessary legal measures to settle any warrants you may have.

What Are the Most Common Warrants in Florida?

Depending on the needs of each case, Florida courts issue various types of warrants. These warrants serve specific purposes, so understanding the differences is critical for both individuals who may be subject to them and law enforcement.

When conducting a Florida Warrant Search, you will most likely come across the following types of warrants:

Florida Arrest Warrant

Under Florida Statutes section 901.02, a judge issues an arrest warrant after reviewing the claim and supporting evidence the relevant official provides to establish probable cause.

When people commit crimes, Florida courts issue arrest warrants. It permits the bearer, typically a sheriff, to detain and arrest the individual named on the warrant at any time and day.

In this jurisdiction, a judge may issue an arrest warrant for any of the following grounds or reasons:

  • The court receives the defendant's summons unserved.
  • An officer submits a complaint regarding a charge of misdemeanor.

To request an arrest warrant from the court, the requesting officer must sign an affidavit. Also, a Florida arrest warrant without the judge's name and the issuance office is invalid. 

However, Florida law allows police to detain suspects without a warrant in certain situations, such as:

  • The police officer witnesses the suspect's offenses
  • If the police officer suspects a felony
  • When the police officer suspects domestic violence or child abuse
  • When the suspect infringed the Florida Motor Vehicle Code

What is Florida’s Child Support Arrest Warrant?

Florida arrest warrants also include the child support arrest warrant. The court will issue this warrant when a parent refuses or doesn't pay child support.

When legal action is taken against a non-compliant parent, the court sets a date for a hearing at which all parties must be present. The court may provide an arrest warrant if the non-compliant parent doesn't attend court.

Parents who do not comply may also be subject to jail time, fines, and other penalties, including salary garnishment and driver's license suspension.

What is Florida's Failure to Pay Warrant

If a defendant in Florida doesn't pay court-ordered payments, like fines, child support, or civil penalties, the court will put out a warrant for arrest.

Intentionally refusing to pay court-ordered fees is a violation of the law. Aside from fines, jail time, and driver's license suspension, a defendant may face the following consequences:

  • Paycheck and payment deductions
  • Revocation of professional licenses
  • Bank account seizure
  • Property liens

Florida Search Warrant

A search warrant in Florida is a tool law enforcement uses to gather evidence to support the development of a criminal case.

If a police officer fills out an affidavit correctly, a judge can issue a search warrant within their jurisdiction if the officer's claims meet the standard for probable cause.

According to Florida Statute section 933.01-40, any judge in this state can issue a search warrant if:

  • There is a commercial use of the private residence.
  • Gambling took place on the property.
  • There are signs of a felony crime on the property.
  • Any criminal activity, including child abuse, took place on the premises.
  • The property violated Florida's animal cruelty laws.
  • The property has evidence of sexual cyber harassment.
  • Embezzlement or theft occurs on the property.

Law enforcement officers have a broad range of authority with this type of warrant. For example, a police officer can forcefully enter a suspect's home if they refuse to open the door. In addition, they may execute the search warrant at any time, including on holidays.

What Conditions Must a Search Warrant Meet in Florida?

When it comes to issuing a search warrant in Florida, all parties involved must abide by the established rules of the state. If not, the search warrant might be null and void, and the defendant could ask the court to dismiss it.

In Florida, only judges can issue search warrants, so they must have a judge's signature, name, and office.

Additionally, only the officers listed explicitly on the warrant can execute at any time of day or night.

Finally, requesting officers must include affidavits with their requests for the search warrant to be valid.

Note that the laws of Florida prohibit the issuance of blank search warrants; as a result, requesting officers must provide relevant information about the person or property listed on the warrant.

Florida Bench Warrant

Another type of warrant you might encounter when you perform a Florida Warrant Search is the bench warrant. In Florida, just like in any other state, it is essential to keep and observe courtroom times. If an individual does not appear in court as scheduled, the judge may issue a bench warrant for arrest.

After missing a court date, a bench warrant in Florida calls for an individual's arrest but is less severe. But note that this warrant type does not expire in this state.

Depending on the type of crime associated with the failure to appear, the courts may issue one of two types of Florida bench warrants:

Bench Warrant (Regular)

The judge would issue a bench warrant if the crime committed were only a minor infraction. In Florida, this type of warrant authorizes law enforcement officers to apprehend the individual named on the warrant upon identification immediately.

Alias Capias

The court will issue an alias capias when an individual fails to appear for a felony-related matter. An individual arrested under this type of warrant will not be able to post bail.

What is Florida's Failure to Appear?

It is a significant offense in Florida not to show up to court. If a party fails to give the court sufficient notice of their absence or fails to have a legitimate reason, the court may impose penalties.

The following are some of the situations in which a person could be guilty of failing to appear in court:

  • Failure to appear after a bond
  • Absence from a court proceeding
  • Failure to show up after a summons
  • Missing a civil court hearing
  • Failure to show up in a criminal court

How Long Is the Jail Sentence for Failure to Appear in Florida?

In Florida, the potential jail time for not showing up to court depends on the nature of the case. However, in compliance with Florida State Statutes section 843.15, such a person may remain in custody until the case's conclusion and be found guilty of a criminal offense.

In Florida, the following situations qualify as third-degree felonies for failure to appear in court:

  • After a conviction, the defendant failed to attend for certiorari review.
  • The defendant did not appear for their sentencing hearing.
  • A felony charge led to the person's arrest and subsequent release on bail.

If you are found guilty of committing this offense, you will have to pay a fine of up to $5,000 and serve a jail sentence of up to five years.

In addition to the varieties of warrants described above, Florida courts also have the authority to issue the following types of warrants:

  • Tax warrants
  • Complaint warrants
  • Execution warrants
  • Fugitive warrants
  • Violation of probation warrant

These warrants may also give law enforcement agents the authority to arrest and detain individuals and seize their property.

How To Perform Warrant Search in Florida?

Unlike in other states, police and courts in Florida don't usually send out notices for warrants. Therefore, anyone with probable cause to assume they have an outstanding warrant in this state may perform a Florida Warrant Search.

There are different ways to look for a warrant in this state. But the best way to do this search is to use the Wanted Persons Search feature in the Crime Information Center of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

It is a free online search that lists the warrant's offense and reporting agency or county. This search tool can look for someone by using their first and last names, birth dates, race, or gender. However, not all issued warrants are immediately accessible on this database. 

So another method to look for active warrants is to search by using the website of the sheriff's office in the county where the alleged crime occurred or get in touch with the appropriate county clerk's office.

On the websites of some of these agencies, you can use search portals to look for warrants using names, case numbers, gender, race, and date of birth. One example is the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which also has a Warrant Search tool page.

Conversely, you can access data about outstanding warrants by contacting the Clerk of Court in the county where these individuals reside. Similar to conducting an online search, the more information you provide about the individual you wish to research, the easier it will be for the clerk to obtain the needed information.

Counties in Florida