Comedian Katt Williams was arrested in Woodland Hills after he failed to show up for a court date in Sacramento. Williams was due to appear in court in Sacramento for allegedly driving a three-wheeler up on a sidewalk and failing to stop for police. Los Angeles police were aware of the bench warrant and took him into custody after observing him outside his home. This marks his seventh arrest in the last 26 months.
One can be arrested without a warrant for an offense committed before an officer or under certain other circumstances. However, not all crimes are committed in front of officers, and for some of those crimes, they are caused by forgetfulness. In compliance with Florida law, the court may issue a warrant or capias request for the arrest of any resident or non-resident who committed a crime in the state. The warrant allows all law enforcement officers, state, county, and municipal, in the state to arrest one and may be executed in any county in Florida.
Some of the most common reasons for issuance of an arrest warrant are:
– Knowledge or suspicion of a probation violation
– Failure to appear in court
– Law Enforcement suspicion of a felony offense such as a drug crime or violent offense or even non-violent like embezzlement or fraud — in which case law enforcement must obtain a signed warrant from a judge after providing a probable cause statement for one’s arrest, the reasoning and request for performing a search and seizure, or both.
– Failure to pay one or more traffic citations
Any type of warrant in Jacksonville is serious, whether it involves a new crime, failure to appear, failure to comply with probation terms or other difficulties in the legal system. Unfortunately, leniency is not often given to those who do not comply with a scheduled court date. In fact, many judges take the crime very seriously, being quick to impose harsh penalties for those who are found to have failed to appear in court. In most cases, the only way to avoid such consequences is to provide a defensible reason for one’s absence.
As soon as one becomes aware of a warrant or knows one failed to appear for a court date, one should contact an experienced attorney who can work with the Judge to recall the warrant or capias in exchange for appearance for court. At the resolution of most cases, it usually looks more favorable for the defendant who voluntarily turns himself in immediately after learning of the warrant as opposed to a defendant who had no intention of coming forward to face the charges and had to tie up a lot of law enforcement resources and possibly create a dangerous situation to bring them in.
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 capius or warrant in order to attempt to avoid another set of arrest records, mug shots and finger prints.
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.
Many times throughout Jacksonville, accused parties face charges they never knew of and warrants they never thought would be out on them, and because of their lack of knowledge, they suffer at the hands of a very powerful state operated legal system. Fortunately, one does not have to fight the battle for one’s freedom alone. If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville failure to appear crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will know one’s rights, know what the prosecution and police have access to, and will be able to make sure that wrongfully obtained evidence will not be used against one.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade 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: Comedian Katt Williams arrested in Woodland Hills, The Los-Angeles Times