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Summons to Appear in Pasco County

If you received a summons to appear in court for an arraignment in New Port Richey or Dade City, in Pasco County, FL, then contact one of the four attorneys at Sammis Law Firm.

When the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office files a misdemeanor through the filing of a “direct information,” then the filing triggers the clerk to issue the summons to appear at arraignment.

The “Summons to Appear: Arraignment” is issued by the Office of Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller (hereinafter the “clerk of court”). On the summons to appear in court, the Clerk of Court will list the defendant’s name, case number, assigned division, name of the charge, and statute number.

Under Rule 3.131(k) of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, when a complaint charging only a misdemeanor is filed, the Judge shall direct the clerk to issue a summons instead of a capias unless the Judge has reasonable grounds to believe the person will not appear in response to a summons.

Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes provides for Process and Service of Process and more specifically, Fla. Stat. 48.031 provides for how the service is to be perfected. Fla. Stat. 48.031(1)(a) provides that:

Service of original process is made by delivering a copy of it to the person to be served with a copy of the complaint, petition, or other initial pleading or paper or by leaving the copies at his or her usual place of abode with any person residing therein who is 15 years of age or older and informing the person of their contents. Minors who are or have been married shall be served as provided in this section.

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.

Along with the summons to appear at the arraignment, you should have also received a notice to appear which lists the judge assigned to the case, along with the time, date, and location of the arraignment hearing.

Attorneys for the Summons to Appear in Pasco County

If you received a summons to appear at arraignment in Pasco County, FL, then contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm. If you intend to hire a private attorney, you should do so at the earliest opportunity and before the arraignment.

The arraignment is an important proceeding. Certain motions must be filed before the arraignment or you lose the right to complain about those issues later in the case. For example, any motion attacking the legal sufficiency of the charging document should be filed prior to the arraignment.

Contact the attorneys at Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case. Our main office is located in Tampa, FL. We have a second office conveniently located in New Port Richey across from Pasco’s West County Judicial Center.

Call 727-807-6392.

Failing to Appear at Arraignment after a Summons is Issued

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 901.02(2), the court may issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest when all of the following circumstances apply:

  1. A complaint has been filed charging the commission of a misdemeanor only.
  2. The summons issued to the defendant has been returned unserved.

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 901.09, a summons is issued when:

  1. When the complaint is for an offense that the trial court judge is empowered to try summarily, the trial court judge shall issue a summons instead of a warrant, unless she or he reasonably believes that the person against whom the complaint was made will not appear upon a summons, in which event the trial court judge shall issue a warrant.
  2. When the complaint is for a misdemeanor that the trial court judge is not empowered to try summarily, the trial court judge shall issue a summons instead of a warrant if she or he reasonably believes that the person against whom the complaint was made will appear upon a summons.
  3. The summons shall set forth substantially the nature of the offense and shall command the person against whom the complaint was made to appear before the trial court judge at a stated time and place.

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 901.10, the summons must be served in the same manner as a summons in a civil action.

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 901.11, the “failure to appear as commanded by a summons without good cause is an indirect criminal contempt of court and may be punished by a fine of not more than $100. When a person fails to appear as commanded by a summons, the trial court judge shall issue a warrant. If the trial court judge acquires reason to believe that the person summoned will not appear as commanded after issuing a summons, the trial court judge may issue a warrant.”

Criminal Summons Issued Against a Corporation in Florida

Did you know that pursuant to Florida Statute Section 901.12, a summons can be issued against a corporation?

“When a complaint of an offense is made against a corporation, the trial court judge shall issue a summons that shall set forth substantially the nature of the offense and command the corporation to appear before the trial court judge at a stated time and place.”

Section 901.14 explains the effect of any failure by the corporation to answer the summons.

“If, after being summoned, the corporation does not appear, a plea of not guilty shall be entered by the court having jurisdiction to try the offense for which the summons was issued, and the court shall proceed to trial and judgment without further process.”

This article was last updated on Monday, July 27, 2020.

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