Welcome to the Emerald Coast, notably the world’s whitest beaches and the premier spot for Spring Break 2016. While you enjoy some downtime from academic stress, our area offers a wide array of fun in the sun.  You will likely leave with many memories and a sunburn, however, make sure you don’t leave for home with an arrest!

If you or a friend has been arrested in Destin, Okaloosa, or Walton County, contact Flaherty & Merrifield today. For over 16 years we have been protecting the rights of spring breakers. Our consult is free but the peace of mind is priceless, call our office 24/7 at (850) 243-6097.

Contact a Destin Spring Break Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Law Enforcement is out in full swing to arrest vacationers for any violation of law they come across. Minor in Possession of Alcohol is the most common arrest we see for spring breakers. Unlike many other beaches you may have visited, the Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff’s Departments will not issue a warning. You WILL be arrested if you are caught with alcohol and are under the age of 21.

Common arrests we see during spring break include:

Minor in Possession of Alcohol-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 60 days in county jail or 6 months probation

Disorderly Intoxication-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 60 days in county jail or 6 months probation

Open House Parties

  • Up to 60 days in county jail or 6 months probation

Possession of marijuana-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation
  • Driver’s license suspension

Possession of Tobacco by Minor-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor-felony offense

  • Up to 5 years in prison

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation

Possession of a Controlled Substance-felony offense

  • Offenses range from 5-30 years in prison

I was arrested for Minor in Possession in Destin, do I have to come back for Court?

If you have a private attorney, we can protect your rights and ensure you do not have to return for court. If you were arrested in Okaloosa or Walton County for minor in possession and do not have a private attorney, you will be required to return for court. If you chose not to return for court a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

What if I have class and can’t come back for Court in Walton County?

Missing a court date because you are scheduled to attend class is not a valid excuse. If you fail to appear, your bond will be revoked and there will be a warrant issued for your arrest. Instead, give us a call at (850) 243-6097 and let us take care of this for you.

What happens if I get arrested on Spring Break in Okaloosa or Walton County?

If you are arrested, there is nothing you can say or do to avoid being taken to jail. You will be transported to either the Okaloosa County Jail in Crestview or Walton County Jail in DeFuniak Springs. You will be entitled to a phone call after a lengthy booking process. More often than not you will be given a bond and a notice to appear for your court date. In serious offenses, such as felony charges, you may have to see a judge the morning after your arrest before a bond will be set.

I was given a Notice to Appear in Okaloosa County, can I just pay the fine?

You can pay the fine to avoid having to come back for court but you will be signing away your future potential. By paying the fine on the notice to appear you are admitting guilt. You will be giving up your constitutional right to fight your case and have an outcome that won’t impact your future.

I committed the crime, why should I fight it?

In most cases guilt is relative. What is important is preserving your right to fight your case whether or not you feel that you committed the crime. Failure to fight your case could result in an automatic guilty conviction which will impact your future.

A guilty conviction, even a misdemeanor can NEVER be erased!

How Can a Destin Spring Break Defense Attorney Protect My Record?

If you were arrested for any offense while on Spring Break in Okaloosa or Walton County, your record is in jeopardy. At Flaherty & Merrifield we will work toward an outcome that will allow your record to be wiped clean or expunged. In Florida, this can ONLY happen with certain results. If your case is dismissed you will qualify for a record expungement. An expungement is the “magic eraser” for your record. It will remove the arrest, charges, and all documents regarding the arrest from the public record. You can only apply to have your record expunged one time in your life. If your case is “withheld”, you will NOT qualify for a record expungement.

Contact an Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been arrested while on vacation in Florida, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.

Brandy Merrifield
Connect with me
Florida Criminal Defense Attorney