It seems like you can't go a week without hearing a story about a "Florida Man" who committed some kind of ridiculous crime. It's not just Floridians that make these mistakes, but Florida is one of few states with "proud open government laws" where criminal records are public. This makes it incredibly easy for reporters, future employers, and even potential dating prospects to find your record without even conducting a background check. Luckily, we also have the ability to request the sealing or expungement of your criminal record. When a record is sealed or expunged it can't be found by the public or in routine background checks that may be done by a new job or a bank when you're trying to get a loan for a car or a house.
A bench warrant is an arrest warrant that comes straight from a judge (presumably sitting on their bench) and is usually due to failure to appear in court over a civil matter such as a ticket, simple traffic case, or a child custody case. It's never okay to skip a scheduled hearing without just cause, and failure to attend will almost always have consequences. The purpose of a bench warrant is to deter defendants from missing their court ordered appointments. A bench warrant is different from an arrest warrant, in the sense that with an arrest warrant law enforcement is actively looking for the person to arrest. This is usually due to more serious matters like robbery, assault, or worse.
The legal system is full of different terms used to define specific crimes. Often these crimes may sound the same or seem similar in their acts, but they are not interchangeable in their meanings or in their charges. There's a distinct difference among a robbery, a burglary, and a theft.
Did you know Florida is has some of the harshest mandatory drug sentencing laws in place in the country? According to WSFU News, these laws could be changing drastically soon leaving it up to the court system and judges to decide on a fair punishment on a case-by-case basis.