It is estimated that over 122 million tourists visit the Sunshine State each year to enjoy world-class beaches, sightseeing, and amusement parks. With so many visitors, there are bound to be some whose vacations do not turn out the way they had hoped.
A relaxing Florida vacation can quickly turn into a legal nightmare if you are placed under arrest. Whether you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), solicitation, drug smuggling, or something else, it is imperative that you seek qualified legal counsel. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney will have what it takes to mitigate or, in some cases, have your charges dropped entirely.
Can a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Appear in Court for You If You Live in Another State?
Florida acts as a temporary residence for vacationers across the globe, but the majority of visitors come from other U.S. states. Each state has jurisdiction over the crimes that occur within their state lines.
If you were not arrested in your home state and you are out on bail, unless the judge orders you to stay within the county, you will be able to return home. Keep in mind that you may be required to return to Florida to attend your court hearings. However, a waiver of appearance can be used to excuse court attendance in many cases.
If you work with a Florida criminal defense lawyer, they can fight on your behalf to allow the hearing to proceed without your presence. Your attorney may be able to resolve your case entirely without your physical attendance, such as with a written plea.
Typical situations where a Florida criminal defense attorney may appear on behalf of a non-resident include:
- Misdemeanor offenses: Law enforcement may issue you a “Promise to Appear” (PTA), which is a technical arrest in substitution for a physical arrest. A PTA allows a defendant to waive your appearance and permits your attorney to represent you in court hearings and accept a plea deal on your behalf.
- You qualify for Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD): If the crime you were charged with is a felony that qualifies for PTD, you may have the right to waive your presence for some matters. However, you should expect to attend the trial and any court hearings where your presence is recommended, but not required.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you must appear in court under the Interstate Driver License Compact. Should you fail to appear in court for a Florida DUI, your driving privileges will face suspension, and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
Experienced Attorney Representing Tourists Charged with Criminal Offenses in Florida
Were you arrested while on vacation in Florida? If so, work with The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, where Criminal Defense Attorney Brian P. Gabriel will utilize his 30+ years of experience to handle your case.
Criminal Defense Attorney Brian P. Gabriel utilizes all of the knowledge and skills he has developed over the span of his career to build the strongest defense for out-of-staters and international visitors facing criminal charges in Florida.