warrantless arrest in Florida for batteryDespite what you may have seen on TV, police officers do not always need a warrant to arrest someone. Since some offenses pose a significant danger to the public, law enforcement officials may take someone into custody before the court has issued its documents, aka a warrantless arrest in Florida.

If you're arrested for battery without a warrant, officers must be able to prove that the arrest was necessary and in accordance with the law.

Warrantless Arrest in Florida

Florida law allows specific exceptions to the warrant requirement for arrest. The major exception to a warrantless arrest in Florida is that a police officer can arrest anyone for a crime if all of the elements of the crime were committed in the officer's presence. To make a misdemeanor arrest without a warrant, the officer must make the arrest immediately or in fresh pursuit of the suspect.

What is Battery and Can It Be Disputed?

How Does a Warrantless Arrest Work for Battery?

Under Florida law, an officer may make a warrantless arrest in Florida for battery if:

  • They have probable cause for dangerous offenses. Police do not need a warrant to arrest if they have probable cause to believe you have committed battery.
  • They have reason to believe you committed a felony. Officers may make an immediate arrest if they receive a report of a felony and have a reasonable belief that you were the one who committed the offense.
  • Another officer holds a warrant. An officer may arrest if a warrant has already been issued, but another law enforcement agent holds the actual document.
  • You assaulted a protected worker. You may be arrested immediately if you react violently toward a law enforcement official, firefighter, public transit worker, emergency medical care provider, or other protected employee performing their duties.
  • The incident qualifies as domestic violence. Police only need probable cause to arrest if they suspect you have committed an act of domestic violence or dating violence. The arrest can be made regardless of whether the victim wants to press charges.
  • You are carrying a concealed weapon. No warrant is necessary if a suspect is carrying a concealed weapon.
  • The incident took place in a licensed establishment. Police may make an immediate arrest for disorderly conduct in a licensed public lodging establishment that poses a threat to the safety of others.
  • The incident qualifies as child abuse. Police need only have probable cause to believe that you have committed child abuse or lured or enticed a child for unlawful purposes to make an arrest.
  • Your actions violated a protective order. Officers might make a warrantless arrest if you violated a protective order for domestic violence, had a firearm while under a domestic violence injunction, or committed an act that violated a condition of pretrial release for domestic violence or dating violence.
  • You violated your probation. Police can make a warrantless arrest if they have reason to believe that your actions violated the terms of your probation or community control.

What Do I Do if I Was Arrested Without a Warrant?

If you're arrested without a warrant in Florida, the police are required to justify the arrest in your probable cause hearing. Within 24 hours of your arrest, you must be brought before a judge for your first court appearance.

It's vital that you have an experienced battery attorney by your side at your first appearance to:

  • Advise you on how to plead. Police officers may pressure you to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence at your first appearance. However, this may not be the best option for you. Your lawyer works to protect your interests and can advise you on which plea will give you the best possible outcome in your case.
  • Challenge the probable cause. The judge will review the evidence to determine probable cause for your arrest. The charges may be dropped if the judge finds that your arrest or detention was not lawful.
  • Question law enforcement procedures. Any evidence collected illegally may be suppressed if the officer violated your rights during the arrest. The prosecutor might be forced to drop the charges if significant evidence is inadmissible.
  • Move to release you before trial. If the charges cannot be dropped, your attorney can seek a lower bond or argue to release you on your own recognizance before your trial date.

Speak to Our Fort Lauderdale Battery Attorney as Soon as Possible

Board-certified battery attorney Robert David Malove of Fort Lauderdale, FL, can help if you're facing battery charges in Florida. Contact us online or call us today at (954) 861-0384 to begin your free consultation. It will cost you nothing to learn your options, and we have affordable payment plans to ensure you get justice in your case.