Jacksonville Notice to Appear Citation or Ticket for Misdemeanor

Was your son given a notice to appear for Jacksonville possession of alcohol by a minor?  Did your daughter receive a citation for Jacksonville petit theft?  Did a police officer come to your house and give you a Florida traffic ticket for Jacksonville leaving the scene of an accident?  Were you pulled over by a police officer and given a Florida ticket for Jacksonville driving on a suspended license with knowledge?  If so, you should talk to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer about your situation.

Duval County FL Ticket

What is a Florida Notice to Appear? Is it a ticket or a criminal charge?

A notice to appear is much different than a basic Florida speeding ticket.  When you are issued a basic Jacksonville traffic ticket, it is a civil infraction.  A notice to appear is a criminal citation.  This is not the same thing as the type of traffic citation that you are used to.  In Florida, a notice to appear is issued in lieu of an arrest.  That means that the police officer did not arrest you, but you are still facing criminal charges.  If you were downtown St. Augustine and given a notice to appear for petty theft, you should talk to a St. Johns County lawyer.  If you were given a notice to appear in Fleming Island, you should talk to a Clay County attorney.  If you have a Jacksonville possession of marijuana ticket, a Duval County lawyer will be able to set a court date for you and work on your case before it goes to court.  You may contact a Florida criminal attorney by calling 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525.  You may also send an email by clicking on Contact Lawyers.

Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.125 is the rule that gives the police the authority to give you a notice to appear instead of arresting you.  Here is a portion of the Florida criminal citation law.  You may find the rest on the Florida Bar website.


“(a)   Definition. Unless indicated otherwise, 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.
(b)     By Arresting Officer.  If a person is arrested for an offense declared to be a misdemeanor of the first or second degree or a violation, or is arrested for violation of a municipal or county ordinance triable in the county, and demand to be taken before a judge is not made, notice to appear may be issued by the arresting officer unless:
(1)     the accused fails or refuses to sufficiently identify himself or herself or supply the required information;
(2)     the accused refuses to sign the notice to appear;
(3)     the officer has reason to believe that the continued liberty of the accused constitutes an unreasonable risk of bodily injury to the accused or others;
(4)     the accused has no ties with the jurisdiction reasonably sufficient to assure the accused’s appearance or there is substantial risk that the accused will refuse to respond to the notice;
(5)     the officer has any suspicion that the accused may be wanted in any jurisdiction; or a summons or has violated the conditions of any pretrial release program.
(6)     it appears that the accused previously has failed to respond to a notice or a summons or has violated the conditions of any pretrial release program.”

A booking officer at the Duval County Pretrial Detention Facility or other Florida county jail may also issue a notice to appear to someone that is being detained.  The notice to appear must contain certain information.  One of the things required for a Florida notice to appear is the offender’s signature.  This is because Rule 3.125 states that “if a person signs a written notice to appear and fails to respond to the notice to appear, a warrant of arrest shall be issued under rule 3.121.”

If you fail to set a court date, a warrant or capias will be issued for your arrest.  Call (904) 564-2525 to talk to a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer for help.

About Cynthia, 20 Miles Law

Cynthia Veintemillas

Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer Cynthia Veintemillas Photo

Cynthia Veintemillas is an experienced Florida attorney. She began her legal career at the public defender’s office in Jacksonville, Florida. Her primary practice fields include criminal defense, litigation, and family law. She has also represented many people facing foreclosure in Duval County, Clay County, and St. Johns County, Florida.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Florida, 2006
  • South Carolina, 2007
  • Middle District of Florida, 2009

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

  • Florida Bar 
Member Since: 2006
  • South Carolina 
Member Since: 2007
  • Jacksonville Bar 
Member Since: 2008
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers