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Lawyer Defending Tampa Residents Against Criminal Charges

Arrests occur for many different reasons. Possible reasons for arrest can include DUIs, drug trafficking, sex crimes, and violent crimes. Under certain circumstances, you may have been aware of a criminal investigation and you may have known an arrest was coming. In other situations, an arrest can be unexpected. If you’re taken into custody, you should seek out representation from an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney. It’s important to obtain counsel as soon as possible, even at the investigation stage prior to arrest, if you know you’re being investigated. Early involvement of an attorney who is on your side may make a difference to your case.

Stop and Frisk

It’s important to be aware that a stop and frisk is different than an arrest. In Florida, an officer isn’t allowed to remove you from the immediate area without making an arrest, unless you voluntarily agree to go with the officer. During a stop and frisk or detention, a police officer can stop you and ask you to identify yourself and explain what you’re doing at a specific point in time without an arrest. If the officer believes you are armed, she can conduct a limited frisk of your outer clothes in order to identify weapons.


Often arrests are made with a warrant. Warrants can be issued for several different reasons, and can include felony arrest warrants, as well as failure to appear warrants, extradition warrants, and violation of probation warrants. If an arrest warrant is issued, the judge may set a bond or order a person to be held on no-bond. When a bond is set, someone can be bonded out of jail right away after being arrested by posting the requisite amount of bond and agreeing to appear at the next court date in the county where the arrest warrant was issued. A criminal defense lawyer can represent you at this court date and throughout the criminal process.

A warrantless arrest may be made where a misdemeanor is perpetrated in front of an officer or where there is good cause to believe a felony has been committed and the person being arrested committed it. Certain misdemeanors allow for an arrest without a warrant.

Resisting Arrest

It is unlawful for the police to use excessive force when arresting you. However, the police are allowed to use reasonable force when making an arrest or stopping a crime from happening. They can use whatever force they reasonably believe is necessary to defend themselves or someone else from being hurt. In Florida, it is a crime to resist arrest with violence or without violence. These are two separate crimes.

A prosecutor can secure a conviction for resisting arrest with violence if she can show: (1) you willfully and knowingly, (2) resisted, obstructed, or opposed, (3) a police officer, (4) with violence or through threats of violence. This type of conviction is a felony. Resisting an arrest without violence is a misdemeanor.


The police need not give you a Miranda warning simply because they arrested you. You can be arrested and taken for booking without being given a Miranda warning. However, once you are in custody and officers plan to interrogate you, they are supposed to give you a Miranda warning. For example, if you have been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and taken into custody and the police officers ask you questions about what happened, they must have provided you with Miranda warnings. If they interrogate you while in custody without letting you know your Miranda rights, your answers will usually not be admissible in court, though there are certain exceptions. However, if you freely volunteer comments to the police after being arrested for a crime, the government can use those comments to incriminate you at trial.

Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa

If you’ve been arrested in Tampa or believe you are about to be arrested, you should contact Hanlon Law. Our founding attorney Will Hanlon has been providing criminal defense representation since 1994 and may be able to help you. Please contact Hanlon Law at (813) 228-7095 or via our online form.

Client Reviews
I retained Mr. Hanlon for two cases... He handled both cases very quickly and without me present. The end result was all three charges on two separate cases were dismissed. I couldn't be more pleased with the service I received from Mr. Hanlon.
- Ashley
Excellent attorney! Will handled my petty theft case with the utmost professionalism and kept me informed of my options and choices every step of the way. The evidence was highly circumstantial and predatory, but luckily the whole case was null processed. I highly recommend Will because of his expertise and knowledge.
- Criminal Defense Client
Mr. Hanlon was extremely professional in handling my DUI case. His office was very helpful in answering all my questions. I was so pleased when he reduced my charge from a DUI to Reckless Driving. It was a weight off my shoulders. I would highly recommend him for any DUI case based on his high success rate in reducing the charges. Thanks again Mr. Hanlon.
- Steve