Planning an international trip that departs or arrives in Florida? Make sure you do not have an active arrest warrant.
At Thomas & Paulk, P.A. we have noticed an increasing number of people arrested when clearing customs in the United States. Due to ever increasing border security and better verification of identity at the border, customs officials are discovering many more arrest warrants than in previous years. In fact, we often find that clients are unaware that they have a warrant until informed by Customs and Border Protection Officers. Often, these warrants can be very old. We have had clients arrested at the border on warrants that are over twenty years old. Returning to the United States and being immediately arrested and taken to jail is a terrible way to end a cruise or vacation.
Many times when a client finds they have an old arrest warrant, we determine that it is for failure to appear on a criminal charge. For example, many years ago a client may have written a bad check and then moved prior to getting notice of the court date. As a result, the court issued a warrant when the client did not appear in court. If the client has no contact with law enforcement, this warrant can stay active for years. Then the client decides to take a cruise or international vacation. When they return to Florida, the list of passengers on the cruise is checked by Customs and Border Protection Officers and the warrant is discovered. When the client returns, they are met by law enforcement and arrested on the warrant. If the warrant has no bond, they will be held in jail until they are taken to the county where the warrant was issued.
Obviously, you do not want to find yourself in the above situation. If you are planning on taking an international trip arriving in Florida, but you have an active warrant for your arrest, you need to take steps to resolve the warrant before your trip. A Tampa criminal defense attorney at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. can help you get your case in front of the court that issued the warrant before your trip so that your vacation does not end in an arrest. If your family member was arrested after returning to the United States, you should immediately contact an attorney at Thomas & Paulk. We can research the warrant and inform you of what steps need to be taken to resolve the case. If you have an arrest warrant from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, or Pasco County contact Thomas & Paulk today for a confidential and free consultation.