Florida, specifically South Florida, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. With beautiful year-round sunshine, millions of out-of-state visitors come to South Florida every year. A vacation to Florida should be a wonderful experience for tourists and not include time spent in a jail cell.
After an arrest in Florida, working with an experienced Palm Beach County criminal defense attorney can make a very complex situation much easier to deal with. You must hire an attorney in the same state of your arrest. Depending on the crime and a not guilty plea, your Florida criminal defense attorney may be able to appear on your behalf in court without your presence. It is, however, important to know that if you fail to appear to any scheduled court hearing where your presence is required, a warrant could be issued for your arrest.
What Happens If You Have an Out-of-State Arrest Warrant?
If you have a warrant out for your arrest in another state that you do not reside in such as Florida, you can still be arrested. If you are pulled over for a simple traffic infraction, the out-of-state warrant can appear, and you will be taken into custody in that state. Every state has a different rule for detaining someone who has a warrant in another state.
For example, in the Vargas case, the Defendant was charged in both Colorado and Florida for marijuana crimes within the same year. Vargas v. Junior, 254 So.3d 1092, 1093. The Defendant was considered a fugitive from Colorado who later came to Florida. Id. The Defendant was arrested in Florida and filed a waiver of extradition, which was later denied. Id. at 1095.
Depending on the crime, you may be returned to the state that issued your arrest warrant. This is known as extradition. Extradition is typically reserved for more serious crimes such as trafficking, drug charges, or any violent offenses. If you were arrested while on vacation in Palm Beach or Broward Counties, it is imperative to contact a Florida tourist defense attorney immediately to discuss what your options are. Contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 today.
Out-of-State Misdemeanor Offenses in Florida
In Florida, some common tourist misdemeanor offenses we often see are possession of marijuana, simple battery, assault, disorderly conduct, or DUI. For smaller offenses like these, you typically can only face a maximum of one year in prison. For first-time offenders, a case can even be dismissed or adjudicated with the help of a Palm Beach and Broward County tourist defense attorney. In certain cases, you may never need to appear in Florida.
Out-of-State Felony Offenses in Florida
A felony charge for an out-of-state offense is serious. Typically, felony charges in Florida come with a requirement of one or more years served in prison. Some common felony offenses tourists face in Florida are marijuana distribution, aggravated assault or battery, resisting arrest with violence, grand theft, or burglary. While you may not have to appear in court for a misdemeanor offense after traveling home, a judge may require you to appear in court for most felony charges.
I Was Arrested While on Vacation in Florida, Now What?
If you were arrested while on vacation in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, or in Broward County, you need in-state counsel as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky has been defending out-of-state tourists who committed a crime in Florida for 18 years. If you were arrested in Palm Beach or Broward Counties while on vacation, contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 immediately.