Spring Break is almost upon us which means white beaches, beautiful weather, crystal clear water and, if you’re not careful, possibly an arrest record. If you are spending your Spring Break in Destin or Walton County you need to be aware that law enforcement will be cracking down hard on any underage drinking.

If you or a friend get arrested on Spring Break in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, Grayton Beach, or anywhere in Okaloosa or Walton County, contact Flaherty & Merrifield today to discuss your options at (850) 243-6097.

Some Spring Break arrests come with life long consequences such as jail, probation, suspension of your driver’s license or denial of financial aid. Do not leave your future to chance or the Public Defender. If you are a college student vacationing for Spring Break you need a local attorney fighting for you.

Common Spring Break arrests include:

I was arrested in Walton County, do I have to come back for Court?

If you have been arrested in Walton or Okaloosa County, your presence will be required in court if you do not have a private attorney. The fact that you are a student and may not have means to travel back to Florida will mean little to the Florida Court. Choosing to simply ignore the arrest and not come to court will result in a failure to appear bench warrant being issued for your immediate arrest.

If you hire me to defend you, the first thing I will do is file paperwork that will excuse you from all court appearances and authorize me to attend court on your behalf.

I was issued a Notice to Appear. What does that mean?

A Notice to Appear is a criminal citation that requires a court appearance. If you have been issued one by law enforcement you are required to be present for Court. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have hired a private attorney however, your appearance can be waived and you may never have to return to Florida for court.

My citation says I can pay a fine and not have to come back to Court, is that bad?

While you have the option of paying a fine if you are issued a criminal citation like a Notice to Appear, this does not mean that your record will be clear. By paying the citation you have admitted guilt. In some cases your record will show that you were convicted (adjudicated guilty) of the offense. In other cases the record will show that adjudication was withheld (not a conviction). In either case a withhold of adjudication or a conviction disqualifies you from having the record expunged (completely removed from your record).

If I am successful in having the case resolved through diversion however, your case will be dismissed and the arrest will be able to be expunged.

What if I am guilty or feel like I committed the crime?

Whether or not you feel responsible for the crime alleged, you have a right to defend yourself and fight your case. Your good student record, community service and plans for your future can help position you in a favorable light that can provide for a good resolution of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can protect your future.

If you want peace of mind, straight forward answers and a clean slate, you have come to the right place.

If you have been arrested on Spring Break in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Grayton Beach, Okaloosa Island, or anywhere in Walton County, call me today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.

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.

Tim Flaherty
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney