Broward County has an interesting way of going about the process of case filing.
Any time a charge is changed from what it was when the Defendant got arrested, a capias (warrant) is issued. That's because when charges change from the time of arrest to arraignment, the surety - also known as the bondsman - is no longer obligated on the original bond.
In order to avoid being taken in custody, it is imperative to have your bondsman provide an affidavit prior to your arraignment date. This affidavit state that despite the change in charge, the bondsman will remain liable on the bond.
If you are facing criminal charges in Broward County, your criminal defense attorney should be aware of a change in charge prior to arraignment and should take initiative to obtain the affidavit from the surety.
Little things like this highlight the differences when practicing in various Florida counties.
It is critical that you retain a criminal defense attorney who understands the differences from county to county.
When you speak to your attorney or prospective attorney, find out their level of experience in the county in which your case is located. You may not want to retain an attorney who practices exclusively in Miami-Dade County for a Palm Beach County case.
Understanding how difference counties handle various aspects of criminal procedure may keep you out of jail.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.