Although you may want your Florida vacation to be perfect in every way, not everything always works out according to plan. Getting arrested while on vacation or in a Florida airport is an inconvenient and troublesome process that is the exact opposite of what you were planning. Even so, the damage may already be done and steps need to be taken to keep this from becoming a larger issue than it already is.
As a tourist, someone from out of state, or an international citizen, there are options for you when it comes to dealing with the charge considering that you are not a citizen of the state of Florida. This may come in the form of a written document to waive your presence in court, or a Pre-Trial Diversion program to satisfy the penalties without having to go through the trial process, among others. But no matter how you proceed, it would be in your best interest to retain an attorney that can represent you on your behalf in court, minimizing the need for your involvement.
There is only one thing worse than getting arrested, and that is getting arrested somewhere far from where live. This creates an excess of issues that can take up a great deal of your time and energy. Hiring a qualified tourist arrest attorney can make this process much easier for you. The criminal defense attorneys at Adkinson Law Firm, LLC have over 30 years of combined experience helping both Florida citizens and the people who have come to enjoy this great state while on vacation.
Our lawyers are well-versed in Florida law and will work hard to provide a satisfactory solution to this inevitably stressful situation. If you were arrested as a tourist in the Florida Panhandle, including the counties of Walton, Okaloosa, Holmes, Washington, Escambia, and Santa Rosa, call for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
Even though you are not a resident of Florida, your constitutional rights are still fully applicable in this state. This means that you do not have to consent to a police search unless they have a valid warrant, you do not have to speak to police, and you have the right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney.
Some of the most common offenses that tourists tend to be arrested include, but are not limited to:
As for the options that you have with regard to taking care of this matter in the most efficient way possible, the state of Florida has a few avenues in particular that Adkinson Law Firm, LLC will pursue.
First, if you are not a repeat offender and the offense in question in minor, you are often able to pursue a Pre-Trial Diversion program option, which can eliminate the need to return to the county where the offense occurred. Upon successful completion of the program, the charges are dropped.
Two other options to consider in the right situation include entering a plea of absentia (accepting a favorable plea in your absence) or transferring probation from Florida back to your home state.
No matter what the best strategy is for your personal situation, Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is committed to making the process of dealing with a tourist arrest as convenient and painless as it can possibly be.
Considering that DUI’s are one of the most common offenses for non-Florida residents, there are specific processes in place for this charge.
As for court requirements, even though you live out of state, you must still make a court date within 10 days from your arrest and, if you are not represented by a lawyer, then you must attend all court dates. In spite of this, there is a possibility that you may never have to return to Florida for your DUI charge if you retain legal counsel and they are legally able to attend all necessary court dates in your absence.
With regard to sentencing and probation, on the date the case is going to be resolved, assuming there is no trial, your attorney can present paperwork (Plea in Absentia) to the court on your behalf. If you happen to get probation, this will be termed “Mail in Probation” which means that your contact with a probation officer will be through the mail because of your distance.
If you were arrested anywhere in the Florida Panhandle while on vacation, it is better to retain a DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorney sooner than later. This way, among other reasons, you do not risk having a bench warrant issued for your arrest if you fail to appear at your court date.
To keep this from becoming a major issue, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC at or submit an online form to schedule a free consultation. The criminal defense attorneys at Adkinson Law Firm, LLC proudly represent tourists arrested in such communities as Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Niceville, Mary Esther, Laurel Hill, Chipley, Ebro, DeFuniak Springs, Freeport, Paxton, Westville, Noma, Milton, Century, and many surrounding areas.