How a Warrant May Affect Your Social Security Benefits in Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg & Throughout Florida

Can you imagine how it would feel if you were denied your Social Security benefits because there was an active warrant out for your arrest? Even if it was a warrant that you were not aware of? Or worse yet, can you imagine paying the Social Security Administration thousands of dollars in reimbursement for the benefits you received while your arrest warrant was pending?

Many Tampa Bay, Florida area residents are not aware that their Social Security benefits may be in jeopardy because of an active arrest warrant. Not only can benefits be blocked by an arrest warrant, but in some cases, the Social Security Administration may force a recipient to pay back his or her benefits. Read on to learn more about how an unresolved arrest warrant may affect your Social Security benefits. Then, if you have any questions, please call St Petersburg, Tampa, and Clearwater criminal defense attorney Charles Holloway, P.A. for a free consolation about your case.

Social Security Warrants

The Social Security Administration has become increasingly aggressive in its review of the criminal records of those who receive, or seek to receive, Social Security benefits. Whether the Social Security applicant or recipient resides in Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, or anywhere else in Florida, if the Social Security Administration’s search reveals an active warrant, they will contact the applicant or recipient by letter to notify him or her of the situation.

The notification letter provides information concerning three issues:

(1) The status of the active criminal warrant (e.g. felony or misdemeanor, case number, identification of the court system).
(2) Steps that can be taken to resolve the situation with Social Security.
(3) The financial consequences if the warrant is not eliminated.

If a person has already received benefits while a warrant was pending, the Social Security Administration may seek reimbursement. The amount they seek will be the total paid to the recipient while the warrant was pending. This can result in a situation where the recipient is required to pay back thousands of dollars in benefits. If an applicant has not yet received any benefits, the Administration will block payment until the warrant is resolved.

You will be eligible for payment, and avoid restitution, if you can demonstrate any of the following:

(1) The warrant was incorrectly issued in your name.
(2) You were found not guilty of the criminal charge.
(3) The criminal charges were dismissed by the Court or a law enforcement agency.
(4) The warrant was withdrawn.
(5) You were otherwise cleared of the offense.

Alternative Solutions

If none of the above options apply, you may be eligible for benefits or avoid restitution if you can demonstrate the following:

(1) The original crime for which the warrant was issued was both nonviolent and not a drug related offense.

AND

(2) You have neither been convicted of nor pled guilty to another felony since the date of the warrant.

AND

(3) The law enforcement agency that issued the warrant reports that it will not extradite you or take action for your arrest.

OR

(4) The original crime for which the warrant was issued was both nonviolent and not drug related.

AND

(5) You have neither been convicted of nor pled guilty to another felony since the date of the warrant.

AND

(6) The only existing warrant was issued 10 or more years ago.

AND

(7) Your medical condition impairs your mental capacity to resolve the warrant, you are legally incompetent, or you reside in a long-term care facility of some type.

The Attorney’s Role

If you have been notified by the Social Security Administration that you have an active warrant and that your benefits are in jeopardy, a criminal defense attorney can help.

(1) A criminal defense attorney can assist you in determining whether the information regarding the warrant is accurate or not.
(2) If it is inaccurate, the attorney can assist in gathering evidence that the warrant does not apply to you.
(3) If it is accurate, the attorney can help determine whether you were found not guilty or the charges were otherwise dismissed.
(4) If the warrant is accurate and the charges were not successfully resolved in your favor, an attorney can help negotiate a settlement with the State Attorney that will seek to eliminate the warrant and dismiss the charges. This result can help you restore your benefits and avoid the payment of restitution.

If you are in Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, or anywhere else in the greater Tampa Bay, Florida area and you believe your Social Security benefits are being affected by an arrest warrant, please contact criminal defense attorney Charles Holloway, P.A. for a free initial consultation.