Direct Information Arraignment
Most misdemeanor charges arise because the officer witnessed each part of the crime. For example, if someone is caught with drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop, they might be charged with possession of the drug paraphernalia based on the fact that the officer witnesses the possession and it occurred in the officer’s presence.
Likewise, for a DUI case, the officer is able to make an arrest only if the officer witnesses the crime being committed by seeing the defendant behind the wheel while impaired.
But what happens if the officer doesn’t witness the crime and the crime is not on a list of misdemeanors exceptions to the arrest warrant requirement? In those cases, the officer will forward his report to the State Attorney’s Office to determine whether the charges should be “direct filed.”
If you were told that the report has been taken and the matter will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, then you should hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you during this part of the process.
If you do nothing, then you might be served later with a summons to appear in court for “direct information arraignment.” The direct file information is most common for charges like criminal mischief, simple battery, or DUI.
For example, in a simple battery case charged as a misdemeanor, if the alleged victim wants to prosecute, then a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office might issue a summons that puts you on notice that you are required to appear in court for a direct information arraignment. The notice will list the judge assigned to the case along with the time and date of the arraignment.
At the arraignment in Hillsborough County, FL, the court will tell you about the charge pending against you and ask you whether you intend to hire a private attorney or need the court to appoint a public defender if you cannot afford a private attorney. If you fail to appear at the direct file arraignment, then the court might issue a failure to appear capias warrant for your arrest.
If you hire a private attorney prior to the arraignment, then your attorney might be able to waive your appearance so that you will not have to appear in court.
Attorney for the Direct File Arraignment in Tampa, FL
If you were served with a notice to appear for a direct file arraignment after a direct file information was filed at the courthouse in Tampa or Plant City in Hillsborough County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.
Call us to find out what happens at the arraignment in Hillsborough County, FL.
Our main office is downtown. We represent clients throughout the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL.
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients at arraignments in the courthouse in Tampa and Plant City. Whether you were arrested and charged with a crime or whether you received a notice for a direct file arraignment, we can help.
Call 813-250-0500 for a free consultation.
This article was last updated on Thursday, July 15, 2021.