Tampa Bay is one of the largest tourist hubs in Florida. With all its beaches and attractions, Tampa Bay is a very appealing destination for visitors both nationally and internationally. However, sometimes a visit may be derailed by criminal charges such as
- Drunk driving or Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Public Intoxication
- Disorderly Conduct
- Possession of Marijuana
- Indecent exposure
- Resisting arrest
- Domestic violence
- Other Drug Charges
As a tourist, out-of-state visitor or an international citizen, being charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Hillsborough County is overwhelming and inconvenient. You should hire a Tampa Bay tourist lawyer to help. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.
WE CAN WAIVE YOUR PRESENCE SO YOU DON’T NEED TO TRAVEL TO TAMPA FLORIDA TO ATTEND COURT
The biggest concern for our clients with an out-of-state charge is the daunting possibility of having to travel frequently to Hillsborough County to attend court. You may be required to be in court on a weekday once per month for several months. Hiring Hines & Associates Law to handle your criminal case while you are residing out-of- county can help you avoid unnecessary back-and-forth traveling for court appearances. We may be able to waive your appearance at pre-trial court dates and hearings, saying you time and money. An experienced local defense attorney can also save you time and money by:
- Getting your case dismissed early
- Plea bargaining on your behalf
- Transferring probation, community service, and other sanctions to your home state
- Moving for Plea in Absentia
- Arranging Mail-in Probation
WITH A DIVERSION PROGRAM, YOU MAY HAVE ALL CHARGES DROPPED
Also, if this is your first offense, a diversion program may be a worthwhile option. In some cases, you may be able to enter a diversion program without ever returning to the State of Florida. If you successfully complete the program, the prosecutor will drop all charges against you, and you may thereafter be able to expunge your criminal record.
You should thoroughly discuss these programs with your attorney to determine if it is the best option for you, especially if you are a college student, member of the military, or work in a professional industry.
YOU MAY FACE HARSH PENALTIES FOR DUI WHILE VISITING FLORIDA
According to Fla. Stat. § 316.193 it is a misdemeanor for a person to be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in Florida while either having a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, or while his or her normal faculties – such as walking, hearing, talking, and depth perception – are inhibited by drugs or alcohol. Actual physical control means a person is driving or capable of driving or operating a motor vehicle. This includes scenarios like being right outside the vehicle with keys in hand, or being inside the vehicle with the keys in the ignition.
Being from out of state is not a valid defense against a Florida DUI conviction. Getting a DUI while on vacation can mean harsh penalties, even for a first offense. First-time offenders may face:
- $500 - $1000 fine
- 180 days -1-year driver's license suspension
- Up to 10-day vehicle impoundment
- Up to 6 months of probation and/or prison time
- Possible ignition interlock device
- Community service hours
- Alcohol awareness and/or treatment programs
PENALTIES FOR MISDEMEANORS AND FELONIES WHILE VISITING TAMPA FLORIDA
Visitors to Florida may also face misdemeanor or felony charges while on vacation. The following are the punishment you could face for various crimes as a tourist in Tampa Bay”
- Misdemeanor of the Second Degree – A conviction for this offense can result in a jail sentence not more than 60 days and/or a fine up to $500.
- Misdemeanor of the First Degree – A conviction for this offense can result in jail term up to one year and/or a fine not more than $1,000.
- Felony of the Third Degree – A conviction for an offense in this degree can result in a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine not more $5,000.
- Felony of the Second Degree – A conviction for an offense in this degree can result in a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
- Felony of the First Degree – A conviction for an offense in this degree can result in a prison sentence not more than 30 years or life and/or a fine up to $10,000.