Florida Criminal Notice to Appear

notice to appear in court

A Notice to Appear (NTA) most closely resembles a simple citation or ticket which is why many people fail to take them seriously. In all actuality, a Notice to Appear carries the same implications as being arrested as individuals face the same criminal penalties. Those who fail to appear in court on the date they were assigned face having a warrant out for their arrest and additional charges being added to their case. Avoid any further legal issues by contacting an experienced attorney the moment you’re issued an NTA.

The Orlando criminal defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm are seasoned lawyers with experience as former prosecutors on the state and local level. We can explain to you the criminal penalties you may be facing and serve as your legal representation throughout all court proceedings. Navigating the criminal justice system independent of legal counsel can be a daunting task. Our team of zealous criminal defense attorneys can you guide you through the legal process.

What is a Notice to Appear?

A criminal Notice to Appear or NTA is defined in Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.125 as:

“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.”

Those issued an NTA are inputted into the state and federal system the same way as if they were arrested. The process in Orlando will go as follows:

  • The police officer issues you an NTA in the form of a citation instead of arresting you
  • You schedule to appear in court in front of a county court judge
  • You go through the same criminal process as if you were arrested

At your initial court appearance, the county judge will inform you of the State’s offer and ask if you would like to resolve the case then and there. As tempting as it may be to settle the issue on the spot, it is crucial that you do not resolve your criminal case without the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

There are often hidden consequences that come with settling the legal matter which can include deportation, driver’s license suspension, and the inability to have the offense expunged or sealed.

When is a Notice to Appear Issued?

It is at the officer’s discretion whether or not he issues an NTA or arrests an individual. Those most likely to receive an NTA instead of being arrested are those with no prior criminal record or those facing minor criminal charges like petit theft or driving with a suspended license. There are situations, however, when an officer is required to make an arrest. This includes instances of domestic battery or a DUI. Some other instances that may require an officer to make an arrest include:

  • If you are uncooperative
  • If you aren’t from the local area
  • If you have a criminal record

The expectations as to when or when not to issue an NTA vary depending on the police department. Generally speaking, police officers have broad discretion as to whether they make an arrest or issue an NTA.

How an Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you were issued a criminal Notice to Appear, be sure to take swift action. NTAs aren’t something that you should blow off as the criminal repercussions can be grave. Your future, career, scholarships, and licenses are all at stake.

Get the help you need by speaking with an Orlando criminal defense lawyer with The Umansky Law Firm. Our team of attorneys shares over 100 years of experience that they can put to use to mitigate your criminal penalties. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.

Recent Criminal
Case Results

Burglary of Dwelling; Petit Theft

Withhold with 6 months probation and impulse control; adjudication withheld

Grand Theft ($300-$5000)

Nolle Prosequi-Case Dropped

CT-Driving Under the Influence Car (M1)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

CT- Driving under the influence car

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

Grand Theft Third Degree

Adjudicated Guilty; One day jail/one day time serve; Restitution fees; Court Cost

Petit Theft < 300

We negotiated an agreement that entailed the State dropping the charge after our client completed a Pre-Trial Diversion Program. The Charge was dropped via a Nolle Prosequi.

Unlawful Speeding

Withhold of Adjudication; No points on license; Paid fine and clerk cost; 8 hour aggressive driver class; 90 days to satisfy fine and class

Shoot/Throw Missile Into Dwell/Struct/Veh; Child Abuse; Criminal Mischief; Battery (Domestic Violence)

No Information Notice - Charges Dropped

Attach Tag/Lic Plate To Unassigned Vehicle (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

DUI with Minor In Car or BAL of .20 or Higher

Pled No Contest, 1 Year Probation, 10 day Car Impound, Community Service

Motion to Modify Probation

Motion Granted in 48 hours

Petit Theft

Adjudication Withheld, 4 Months probation, Costs/Fines, Impulse Control Class

Petit Theft of $100 or MORE (M1)

Nolle Prosequi

Refuse To Submit To DUI Test (M1)

Case Dropped

Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (F3); Disorderly Conduct (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped


Charges Dropped

Scheme to Defraud(F3); Grand Theft(F3)

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Unlawful Speed


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Leave Scene Of A Crash W/Property Damage (M2)

Case Dropped

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Charges dropped

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Violation of Probation

Case Dismissed

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