Arrest vs. Notice to Appear in Florida

Recently, Jacksonville Jaguar Fred Taylor was issued a Notice to Appear instead of being arrested for Disorderly Conduct. In Florida, a Notice to Appear is a written order issued by the police in place of a physical arrest. The Notice requires the person accused of violating a law to appear in court at some future date to handle the criminal charges.

Jacksonville police can issue a Notice to Appear instead of arresting someone if the criminal offense is a first degree misdemeanor, a second degree misdemeanor, or a violation of a Jacksonville ordinance. It is up to the arresting officer whether or not to issue the Notice. The police will not issue the notice to appear if:

1. The accused does not identify himself or herself or give all their information to police.

2. The accused does not sign the Notice to Appear.

3. The police believe leaving the accused out of jail will be a risk to others.

4. The accused has no ties to Jacksonville that are sufficient to secure their appearance at a future court date.

5. The police believe the accused has may have a warrant in another city.

6. The police believe the accused previously did not appear in court on a past Notice to Appear.