Tampa Defense Attorney just researched Notices to Appear under Florida Law. Florida law allows police to issue a Notice to Appear for misdemeanors or violations of municipal or county ordinances instead of making an arrest. Failure to appear before the court can result in not more than the fine of the principal charge, jail up to the maximum sentence of imprisonment, and the court can punish for contempt of court. Types of Charges include: Possession of Alcohol; I have written before about Open Container Charges in Tampa, Florida.
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Chapter 901 ARRESTS
901.28 Notice to appear for misdemeanors or violations of municipal or county ordinances; effect on authority to conduct search. — The issuance of a notice to appear shall not be construed to affect a law enforcement officer’s authority to conduct an otherwise lawful search, as provided by law.
901.31 Failure to obey written promise to appear.—Any person who willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required by a written notice to appear shall be fined not more than the fine of the principal charge or imprisoned up to the maximum sentence of imprisonment of the principal charge, or both, regardless of the disposition of the charge upon which the person was originally arrested. Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the court from exercising its power to punish for contempt.
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