Monday, November 19, 2012


Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys are often asked interesting questions such as the following one:
Should Van Gogh confess to being Guilty of a  Self-Portrait to Tampa Bay Police or wait for an arrest warrant in Florida?
Van Gogh Guilty of Self Portrait, 1886
I made a stupid mistake in breaking the law in Pinellas County. Without going into the circumstance there's a high likelihood that I'm going to soon be caught.
Since this happened it's all I think about night and day. I haven't been able to sleep for days. 
I'm afraid that the police will arrest me while I'm at home or worse while I'm at work and I'll be fired. Will the police let me know if there is an arrest warrant for me before they arrest me? If they're eventually going to arrest me anyway, should I turn myself in and confess to the crime? Would that give me a better sentence?
You have a choice of either confessing the criminal act to the police or gutting it out by waiting for the likelihood of an arrest warrant to be issued and eventually served. 
If you confess before a search warrant is issued, your lawyer can ask the Judge for a lower sentence because you showed remorse and acceptance of responsibility for your criminal conduct. But the Judge in determining your sentence will still take the Florida Sentencing Guidelines and Florida Scoresheets into account balancing the need for punishment with your remorse. 
Also, the Judge would take the type of criminal conduct into account, not reducing your sentence if it was a crime of violence, a sexual crime or a crime with a minimum mandatory sentence. 
Finally, there's no guarantee that the Judge will reduce your sentence even if the Tampa Bay police and prosecutors tell the judge that a reduction is appropriate, though the benefits of confessing may include a reduction in the number of charges filed and getting this off your chest might be the first step in getting your life back.
Press reports have noted that how Pinellas County arrest warrants are served needs to be reviewed because Pinellas is one of the few large Florida counties where there is no longer a special unit to serve outstanding arrest warrants. 
Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyers use FDLE's Florida wanted persons warrant check to find out if an arrest warrant has been issued for a client; you don't need to hire an attorney to check it yourself daily. If there is a warrant out for you, then you can turn yourself in before police serve the arrest warrant by calling the local Tampa Bay Police Department that issued the warrant.