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What Happens When You Are Arrested in Florida While on Vacation?

June 14, 2018
By The Wiseman Law Firm

Now that summer has arrived once again, many Americans are embarking on their vacations in order to visit a new town, relax, and have fun. From our beautiful beaches to our famous amusement parks, Orlando remains a go-to vacation spot for people from around the world.

However, sometimes individuals can have too much fun. Whether it’s DUI or drug possession, visitors may find themselves in a county jail cell rather than their luxurious suite at the Four Seasons Resort. While getting arrested for a criminal offense means having their vacation cut short, it also means months of going back and forth between their home state (or home country) and Florida to deal with the ongoing criminal proceedings.

If you have been arrested for or accused of a crime while vacationing in the Sunshine State, it is imperative to seek experienced legal representation from a local criminal defense attorney. Although you may be required to attend some court hearings, there are some situations where a local lawyer can appear on your behalf, which means that you don’t have to spend time and money going back to Florida repeatedly.

The following are the common instances where an Orlando criminal defense lawyer can appear on your behalf:

  • You were charged with a misdemeanor – A misdemeanor offense in Florid could result in law enforcement issuing you a “Promise to Appear” (PTA). This is considered a technical arrest, instead of a physical arrest. With a PTA, you can waive your presence in writing and allow an attorney to represent you at your court hearings and build your defense. Additionally, you also allow your attorney to accept a plea deal on your behalf.
  • Your criminal offense qualifies for Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD) – If you were charged with a felony, but the offense qualifies for PTD, you may waive your presence for specific matters. Keep in mind, you should anticipate being present at trial and any other court hearings where attendance is recommended but not mandatory.

If you were arrested for drunk driving, you will be required to appear in court in accordance with the Interstate Drivers License Compact. If you fail to appear in Florida court, your driving privileges may be suspended and a warrant for your arrest may be issued.

Having a local lawyer on your side early in your situation will prevent you from making everything worse and will be available to negotiate with the prosecutor. For example, you can avoid trying to “explain your side of the story” and reveal too much information that can harm your case by having a lawyer help you guard against accidentally strengthening law enforcement’s case.

For more information about tourist crime, request a free consultation with our experienced attorney at The Wiseman Law Firm today.

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