Sunday, August 2, 2015

Must the Cops Show you the Evidence of a Theft from Walmart before they apply for an Arrest Warrant? ~ "Best Answer" on AVVO ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Q:     Walmart is accusing me of suspicion of theft but I never saw the evidence that the police supposedly have against me.  I denied to sign a statement.  Can an attorney request to see the evidence that the police supposedly have?  How long does it take for an application for a warrant by the police to be approved or denied by the Judge?  What do both of these mean?  Will this affect me?

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Answered Unfortunately the way that our system is designed you do not have a right to see evidence unless and until AFTER (caps intentional) you have been formally charged with a crime.

An attorney can request to see it but again, just like you, your attorney has no right to see the evidence unless and until after you have been formally charged with a crime.

Application for a warrant boils down to a cop preparing and submitting a "sworn affidavit in support of a warrant".  A Judge will swear the officer in, read the warrant, inquire as to any questions s/he may have (if any) and then either grant or deny the application.  As for the timing for a It takes as long as the Judge wishes.

If a warrant issues then you will be arrested (when and how that will occur are variables); if it does not then you will not.

Any arrest will effect you. If you get arrested the the fact of your arrest will go on your record and there is nothing that anyone can do about that.  Even a dismissed case will appear in your record (although it will appear as having been dismissed). You may be eligible to seal or expunge the matter but you can neither secret nor undo an arrest after the fact.

All of that said, if you were not arrested at Walmart then you likely will not be arrested. My advise: CALM DOWN (caps intentional). Do not post any more questions and go on with your life. If you get approached by the cops then keep your mouth shut, invoke your rights and let them process you as they see fit. If you are cooperative and not mercurial then you will be "paper arrested" an set free, giving you plenty of time to retain counsel and deal with the situation prudently.

In Florida most misdemeanor arrests can - at the sole discretion of the arresting officer - be effectuated on paper, without taking the subject to jail. This process is referred to as a "paper arrest", or either as a Promise or a Notice to Appear (PTA / NTA). In these circumstances the officer typically fills out a form advising you of what you are being charged with and then you are noticed by the Clerk of Court to appear for a future Court appearance. Make no mistake that if you have been PTA's / NTA'd then you have been arrested. You will need to appear in Court where you will face a prosecutor and be judged, and, accordingly, you should be represented by a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer. (As an aside make sure that the cop has your correct mailing address or you likely will not get your Court notice, and if you do not appear then you will get an arrest warrant... and that is entirely on you.)

Some misdemeanor cases cannot be PTA / NTA'd. For example, DUI or Domestic Violence Assault or Battery require jail booking, but many misdemeanors, most in fact, can result in a paper arrest, and whether or not they do will generally fall upon your demeanor, attitude and behavior with the cops in the moment. If you are in fact, act like or are perceived to be a "jerk" (not to fail to mention if you are hostile, aggressive, uncooperative, rude, etc.) then you are likely to be physically rather than paper arrested. Conversely, if you are polite and respectful then your odds at a paper arrest will exponentially increase. You should also note that in any event your behavior on scene will both be considered by the State in regard to plea negotiations and admitted in evidence if your case proceeds to hearing or trial, in which case it will be considered by the judge or jury.

No matter how poorly the cops may act or react you can - and always should - remain calm and cool. You can, and should, invoke your rights, in a respectful manner. This is all "upside" for you (long term if not short term) and will always permit your lawyer an undeniable avenue of argument in mitigation of whatever it is that you are accused of having done.

You may want to watch my short Webisode on the difference between arrest a and prosecutions. It will explain it plainly as well as your options. If so then a link follows.

Please see:

You may also want to take a look at my Webisode on "Paper Arrests / PTA / NTA" in Florida. It's short and sweet and to the point, containing a good deal of information which may be helpful. For your convenience a link follows:

Please see:

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.) 

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Posted about 14 hours ago.
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Michael Adam Haber
Michael Adam Haber, Criminal Defense Attorney - Miami, FL
Posted about 14 hours ago.
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For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.  

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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