Criminal Summons Notice To Appear
Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.
Now, once an officer has made a probable cause determination in the field, not in a warrant scenario, in certain cases, an officer can issue what is known as a Criminal Summons Notice to Appear. Now, this is rare and mostly occurs in misdemeanor cases but I will have people call me up on the phone and they will say, “But I wasn’t arrested”, and I ask the $64 million question, “Were you free to leave?” If the answer is no, then that person was in fact arrested, they were just not taken to jail.
If you are in a situation where you or someone you love was not taken to jail, fantastic. But one thing you want to remember, and I’ll come back to this later, never underestimate the seriousness of criminal charges even if they are a misdemeanor in nature. Why? Because the most minor crime in Florida can subject you to 60 days in the county jail and the last thing you or someone you love ever wants to experience is courthouse surprise, an unexpected jail sentence when everybody in your life is wondering, “Where are you”, and the answer is you went to court, you tried to handle it on your own and you’re now at the backdoor. We don’t want that to happen to you, we’ll come back to that later.
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