“Notice to Appear” in Pasco County

Law enforcement officers in Pasco County, FL, have the discretion to issue a “notice to appear” when the offense meets the guidelines of Florida Statute 901.28 and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.125.

The term “notice to appear” means a written order issued by a law enforcement officer in lieu of physical arrest, requiring a person accused of violating the law to appear in a designated court or governmental office at a specified date and time.

The notice to appear triggers a court date at the courthouse in New Port Richey if the case originated on the west side of the county or in Dade City if the case originated on the east side of the county.

Before the first court date, you should receive a notice of arraignment in the mail.

The notice to appear is similar to a “Summons to Appear for Arraignment” issued by the Office of Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller.

The summons to appear will list the case number, division, charge, and statute number.

The summons will command you to appear before the assigned judge at a time and place to answer to the above-stated charges filed against you by the State of Florida.

The summons warns that if you fail to appear, you may be in contempt of court and a capias will be issued for your arrest.

Attorney for “Notice to Appear” in Pasco County, FL

If you were issued a notice to appear or received a summons to appear in the mail, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Pasco County, FL, at Sammis Law Firm.

Our attorneys fight felony and misdemeanor cases at the courthouses in New Port Richey and Dade City, FL. We also represent clients accused of a violation of a municipal or county ordinance.

Contact us to find out more about the procedures for issuing a notice to appear, summons to appear, or notice of arraignment, and the best way to fight the misdemeanor charges.

Call 727-807-6392.

Procedures for Issuing a “Notice to Appear” in Court

If a person is arrested for a first-degree or second-degree misdemeanor or a violation of a municipal or county ordinance or for a violation of a municipal or county ordinance, then the arresting officer or booking officer may issue such person a Notice to Appear unless:

  • The accused fails to identify themselves sufficiently or supply the required information;
  • The accused refuses to sign the Notice to Appear;
  • The officer has reason to believe that the continued liberty of the accused constitutes an unreasonable risk of bodily injury to themself or others;
  • There is a substantial risk that they will refuse to respond to the notice;
  • The officer has any suspicion that the accused may be wanted in any jurisdiction; and
  • It appears that the accused has previously failed to respond to a notice or a summons or has violated the conditions of any pretrial release program.

If a Notice to Appear is issued for a misdemeanor or violation of a municipal or county ordinance, the notice shall be issued with minimal delay. If you fail to appear in court as required by the notice, then the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.

If a capias was issued for failing to appear in court, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We might be able to file a “motion to surrender” you in court so that you have the best chance of avoiding going back to jail.

Information on the Notice to Appear

The arresting officer in Pasco County, FL, will prepare a written Notice to Appear for court purposes containing the following information:

  • The name and address of the accused;
  • The date of the offense;
  • The offense charged — by statute and municipal ordinance as applicable;
  • The number of counts of each offense;
  • The name and address of the trial court having jurisdiction to try the offense(s) charged;
  • The name of the arresting officer;
  • The name of any other person charged at the same time; and
  • The signature of the accused.

In many cases, the officer will not issue an Offense Incident Report in conjunction with the Notice to Appear. Instead, a properly prepared Notice to Appear can suffice as the arresting officer’s report of the incident.

The narrative section of the Notice to Appear shall be a complete documentation of the incident, not just limited to the elements of the offense. In some cases, the officer will write “To Be Set” in the YOU MUST APPEAR section of the Notice to Appear.

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.

Types of Misdemeanor and Ordinances for the NTA

A notice to appear can be issued for any of the following types of offenses:

  • animal cruelty under 828.02 et seq.;
  • assault under 784.011;
  • battery under 784.03;
  • child neglect under 827.03;
  • criminal mischief under 806.13;
  • culpable negligence under 784.05;
  • discharging firearm in public under 790.15(1);
  • disorderly intoxication under 856.011;
  • failure to sign citation under 318.14;
  • improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon under 790.10;
  • littering >151bs. but <5001bs. under 403.41 3(6)(b);
  • open lewd / lascivious behavior under 798.02;
  • petit theft under 812.014 or retail theft under 812.015;
  • possession of alcohol <21 YOA under 562.111;
  • possession concealed weapon (not a firearm) under 790.01(1);
  • possession of illegal deer / turkey under 372.99;
  • possession of marjiuana <20 grams under 893.13;
  • prostitution under 796.07;
  • reckless motorboat operation under 327.33(1);
  • resisting officer without violence under 843.02;
  • taking / selling alligators under 68A-25.002 (FAC) and 372.83;
  • tampering with electric meter under 812.14;
  • trespass under 810.08(2)(a)&(b);
  • welfare fraud under 414.39(5)(a); and
  • worthless check under 832.05.

Summons to Appear for Arraignment in Pasco County, FL

Some clients contact us after receiving a “summons to appear for arraignment” and “notice of arraignment” in the mail. The summons and notice might appear, even if the person was never issued a notice to appear in court by any law enforcement officer.

The summons to appear is triggered by a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office filing a case with the clerk and a “direct information.”

A direct information can be filed for any type of crime, but it is most common for misdemeanor DUI cases involving a crash and blood test, unlicensed contracting, or battery.

If you receive a summons to appear on a criminal charge, you should take the matter seriously. If you miss the court date, a capias might be issued for your arrest or you could be held in contempt of court.

If you are charged with a crime then you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you at every stage of the case. We fight misdemeanor cases at the courthouse in New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County, FL.

Call 727-807-6392.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.