Convicted Florida Sex Offender Arrested On Failure To Appear Charges

Jacksonville’s citizens have many different ideas about how they feel they should run their lives, what sorts of activities they enjoy, and differ in actions they do in private. However, when one’s activities encroach on someone else’s dignity, the consequences can be costly. One in a situation like this should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

Willard Wigfield, a convicted sex offender from Lake County, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies after failing to appear in court. Wigfield was on bond after pleading guilty to a charge of rape and a warrant was issued after he failed to appear for his sentencing in Lake County Common Pleas Court on July 8. Wigfield was wearing an electronic monitoring device that was sending signals from the Tuscarawas River near New Philadelphia when he was supposed to be appearing in court. Willard-Wigfield_20130724113330_320_240.jpg

Jacksonville Failure to appear charges are normally brought for failure of the accused to appear at (or within) the stated time before the court as directed by a summons. Many times, failure to appear is a crime for which a bench-warrant or capias can and will be issued if the defendant promised to appear.

After a failure to appear in court the judge may issue a no bond warrant for one’s arrest. In some cases the court may allow for a bond on the failure to appear warrant. An accused who missed court may have several options including:

– immediately reporting to the jail to surrender on the failure to appear warrant or capius;
– hiring an experienced attorney to file a “motion to surrender” in the courtroom (instead of jail) on the failure to appear capias or warrant in order to attempt to avoid another set of arrest records, mug shots and fingerprints.

The consequences of having the outstanding warrant can include being ineligible to collect certain government, state or local benefits such as social security income, unemployment compensation, or financial aid, having one’s driver’s license suspended indefinitely until one surrenders, and possibly a finding of contempt if that option is exercised by the court.

To ensure more appearance in court, law enforcement agencies, with the help of groups advocating for victims’ rights, have started employing electronic monitoring programs to effectively monitor sexual offenders. These Offender monitoring programs come in the form of GPS tethers and GPS ankle bracelets and have proven to be an invaluable asset in the success of sex offender monitoring.

Many of the GPS trackers used for sex offenders are much more advanced than average
trackers, and give officers the ability to monitor an offender from the moment they leave jail,
regardless if they are indoors or outdoors. Pairing a single-piece monitoring device with web-based software, these ankle monitors uses active GPS and assisted GPS technology to track indoors, where GPS alone cannot reach.

Offender location and schedule profiles are available for the officer to view, indicating when
offenders need to be in certain zones (such as at home or work) and which zones offenders
must avoid (such as schools or parks). Officers are alerted when offenders are not where they should be or if they get too close to a forbidden zone.

Most GPS tracking systems operate on a 24/7 basis, sending reports to officers from monitoring centers. They receive reports when the battery dies, when one steps outside of range, or when one tries to tamper with the device. Offenders in this situation would be required to constantly keep the monitors charged.

Many GPS trackers used for certain criminal offenders are much more advanced than average trackers, and give officers the ability to monitor the offender from the moment they leave the jail, regardless if they are indoors or outdoors. Pairing a single-piece monitoring device with web-based software, these ankle monitors uses active GPS and assisted GPS technology to track indoors, where GPS alone cannot reach.

One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights, defenses, and options are known and protected. One cannot fight this battle alone. With the help of an experienced attorney, one can be sure that this mistake will be whited out of one’s life and become a thing of the past.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Convicted Lake County sex offender arrested in Florida after evading authorities, ABC News Channel 5, Ohio