Notice to Appear in U.S. District Court

If you received a “Violation Notice” or “Notice to Appear” in the United States District Court in the Middle District of Florida in the Tampa Division, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.

We represent clients in federal court for various criminal offenses triggered by a United States District Court Violation Notice for a Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanor. Many of them involve an accusation that occurred at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL.

After being issued the violation notice (sometimes called a “federal ticket”), you might have to wait several months for the court to issue the notice to appear in court. Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires a United States Magistrate Judge to preside over these infractions and misdemeanor cases.

It is best to hire an attorney immediately after the incident so that all options for resolving the case on the best possible terms are available.

Contact us about the problems with just paying the violation notice or ticket. If you pay the amount due, you are ADMITTING to the violation. Paying the violation means that you are convicted of the violation.

A conviction might come with some adverse consequences that could last a lifetime. For example, the conviction might appear on even the most basic background check. For motor vehicle violations, a conviction might result in points on your driver’s license or a suspension (although it is not always reported to the DHSMV).

A criminal allegation in federal court is not a good “do-it-yourself” project. Instead, hire an attorney who can gather all the favorable evidence, show problems with the government’s evidence, and fight for the best result in the case.

The best result might be an outright dismissal if the evidence is insufficient.

Attorney for Notice to Appear in U.S. District Court in Tampa, FL

If you received a violation notice or a notice to appear in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.

We represent clients in federal court on a variety of misdemeanor violations issued by federal law enforcement officers with:

  • James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital – Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • MacDill Air Force Base
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS)
  • National Park Service
  • Forest Service

The federal defense attorneys in Tampa, FL, at Sammis Law Firm, are experienced in fighting misdemeanors and petty offenses committed at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL. Some federal tickets have a mandatory court appearance. The rules in federal court are very different from state court.

We represent civilians, DoD civilian employees working for MacDill Air Force Base, and military members on active duty.

Read more about responding to a U.S. District Court Violation Notice. Contact us to discuss your best defense and ways to avoid a conviction.

Call 813-250-0500.

What is the United States District Court – Notice to Appear?

The notice to appear includes the violation number, location code, date issued, case number, and offense. The notice also includes the date and time of the first court appearance and the address of the court location.

In some of the notices, an amount due is listed. But if you pay that amount, you are ADMITTING that the criminal offense occurred, and the CONVICTION will appear in the public records and on background checks.

By paying the amount due, you waive your right to the following:

  • to contest the violation notice;
  • to go to trial;
  • to be represented by counsel.

The payment may be reported to your state’s motor vehicle or driver’s license agency if you are charged with a motor vehicle violation. As a result, points may be assessed against your driving record, your license or registration may be suspended, and the state may impose additional fees.

Additionally, the conviction of any motor vehicle violation might dramatically increase your insurance premiums.

Mandatory Appearance for Federal Tickets

Some federal tickets are marked with a notification that says “mandatory appearance” or “appearance required” on the ticket.

For tickets marked with a notation for a “Mandatory Appearance,” or if no amount due is shown on your ticket or Notice to Appear, you must appear at the date, time, and court location indicated on your ticket or Notice to Appear.

Types of Petty Offenses for Central Violations Bureau (CVB)

As required by 18 U.S.C. section 19, the Central Violations Bureau (CVB) manages certain petty offenses, including infractions, Class C misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors, and some Class A misdemeanors.

The most commonly prosecuted CVB offenses are Class B misdemeanors, including driving under the influence (DUI), boating under the influence (BUI), and trespass.

Class A Misdemeanor

Class A misdemeanors include a battery, some types of assault, possession of marijuana, DUI with property damage (or a child passenger, a BAC over .15, or a prior conviction within five years, two prior convictions within ten years, or three prior convictions at any time), and some types of petit theft. Violations of a military security regulation under 50 Section 797 are also classified as a Class A Misdemeanor.

Class A Misdemeanors are a statutory maximum sentence of one year of imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000, a $25 special assessment, a $25 CVB processing fee, and up to one year of supervised release (or five (5) years of probation).

For any Class A misdemeanor, the client can be tried before a U.S. District Court Judge unless they consent to have a magistrate judge handle the case.

Class B Misdemeanor

Class B misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of six (6) months of imprisonment, a $5,000 fine; a $25 CVB processing fee, a $10 special assessment; and up to one year of supervised release (or five (5) years of probation).

Class C Misdemeanor

Class C misdemeanors have a statutory maximum sentence of thirty (30) days of imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, a $25 CVB processing fee, a $5 special assessment, and up to one year of supervised release (or five (5) years of probation).


Infractions are offenses with a statutory maximum sentence of five (5) days of imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, one year of probation, a $25 CVB processing fee, and a $5 special assessment.

Many petty and misdemeanor offenses committed by military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base might be resolved using administrative and disciplinary tools instead of a trial of the offense under the Federal Magistrates Act.

Types of Offenses Listed in the Federal Ticket

A violation notice or “federal ticket” might be issued by a federal law enforcement officer for violations of certain federal laws and, if occurring on federal property, certain state laws.

The types of violations listed in the Violation Notice might include:

  • improper parking
  • illegal camping
  • speeding
  • civil disturbances
  • fish and wildlife infractions
  • violations of a military security regulation under 50 U.S. Code § 797 – Penalty for violation of security regulations and orders

Federal tickets are issued by law enforcement personnel from agencies that might include:

  • the Airforce, Marines & Navy Security Forces
  • the U.S. Border Patrol
  • the U.S. Coast Guard
  • the U.S. Customs
  • the Department of Defense Police
  • the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
  • the U.S. Park Police
  • the U.S. Postal Police
  • the U.S. Provost Marshal
  • the V.A. Police

Crimes Under State Law Prosecuted in Federal Court

Did you know that crimes under state law can be prosecuted in federal court?

The Assimilative Crimes Act allows the United States Attorney General to prosecute violations of Florida criminal law when it is alleged that the crime occurred on federal property if a corresponding federal law does not cover the criminal offense.

The most common examples of crimes prosecuted under the Assimilative Crimes Act include:

  • DUI;
  • Shoplifting;
  • Retail theft;
  • Battery; or
  • Assault.

Traffic School for Federal Tickets

Sometimes, we advise our clients to attend a driver’s education course after they are accused of a crime that occurred in for crimes that occurred in a motor vehicle. Attending the driver’s education course might be a good way to avoid accumulating points or having a driver’s license suspended.

If you are charged with a motor vehicle moving violation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to find out the best way to resolve the federal ticket without incurring a conviction that comes with a host of adverse consequences.

Failure to Appear on a Notice Violation in the U.S. District Court

If you fail to hire an attorney to help you resolve the case, pay the fine, or appear in court by the deadline, the court might issue a warrant for your arrest.

In addition, for charges related to a motor vehicle violation, the court may also report your failure to pay or appear to the DSHMV in Florida, which may affect your driving privileges or result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

This article was last updated on Friday, April 29, 2022.