Criminal Defense for Tourists in FL
Florida is an extremely popular tourist destination. From theme parks to beaches, there are thousands of things to see and do in Florida. But have you ever wondered what happens if you get in trouble with the law while you are on vacation? If you are a non-Florida resident and are arrested for a criminal offense while visiting in Florida, it is important to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Criminal charges cannot be ignored and you must face the possible consequences regardless of your resident state.
The Basics of Jurisdiction
Even though you live out of the state of Florida or even outside the United States, your criminal charges will be heard in the county in which you were arrested or issued a notice to arrear. So if you are arrested in Orlando, Florida then the jurisdiction for your criminal charges is Orange County, Orlando, Florida. Your case will not be transferred closer to your home.
Most commonly, Florida tourism crimes involve alcohol. Whether it be a drinking and driving offense, a minor possession offense, violation of open container laws, or a traffic violation, you will be charged and tried in the state of Florida. This can be a burdensome task with numerous court dates, reporting requirements, and other limitations imposed due to the nature of the charges. It is impractical to presume that out-of-state offenders will be able to make every court date and travel to Florida regularly for these matters—however, missing a court date can cause a warrant for your arrest. Missing a hearing, probation meeting, or other court-ordered appointment can have catastrophic effects on the disposition of your case, your profession and life.
If an offender does not reside in Florida and personal jurisdiction is proper in Florida court, the offender must appear in court. Alternatively, an offender can hire an attorney to make court appearances on his or her behalf. This can eliminate the need for the offender to return to Florida, or at least minimize the amount of travel necessary. Hiring an attorney is not only a cost-effective solution for out of state offenders, but will also increase the chances of challenging or lessening the effects of the offender’s criminal charges.
Orlando Tourist Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or anyone you know has committed a crime in the state of Florida, regardless of where you are from, it is critical to secure legal counsel immediately. By minimizing direct contact between the offender and law enforcement, you can lessen the possibility of making potentially incriminating statements or making a mistake that makes the case against you stronger. As former prosecutors, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth know how to navigate the legal system and accommodate both in and out of state offenders. If you have questions about your legal rights, contact our Orlando office today.