The tradition of college students celebrating spring break dates back to the early 1930s. By the late 1950s, college students everywhere were heading south in droves, with Florida being the most popular destination. However, the sun, warm weather, sandy beaches, and the party scene are risky combinations that escalate Florida crime rates every year. Underage drinking, binge drinking, and recreational drug usage are common factors that lead to a misdemeanor or felony arrest for state and federal crimes. Some of these charges include disorderly intoxication, criminal mischief, DUI, drug possession charges, sex crimes, shoplifting/theft crimes, property violations, and physical violence allegations such as assault and battery.
A criminal conviction can have a devastating and long-term impact on a minor or a young adult’s future. Spring break for colleges typically begins at the end of February and lasts through April. This year, despite the pandemic, college students are flocking to various destinations throughout Florida.
What if I get Detained or Arrested during Spring Break?
- In many cases, law enforcement officers have the discretion to arrest or not. If you are detained and questioned, do not be confrontational or disrespectful. If you are asked to sign a criminal citation, it is not an admission of guilt. It is in your best interest to do so, as this is preferable to an arrest.
- Do not interfere or obstruct a law enforcement officer detaining or arresting another person, even if it is a friend. It can be misinterpreted as an obstruction of justice, with serious legal consequences.
- You have a right to remain silent and seek counsel from an attorney under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Besides giving your name and date of birth to law enforcement when you are under suspicion of a crime, you are not obligated to answer further questions. Inform the investigating agency that you wish to speak with an attorney.
- A law enforcement officer needs probable cause to search your belongings. If you are asked to consent for a search, they do not have probable cause. Do not voluntarily agree to a search.
- Know the law. Many college students are from out-of-state, where laws may differ. Understanding local laws can avoid legal problems during spring break, especially laws regarding alcohol, drugs, and sex offenses. If it is legal in your state, it is not necessarily legal in Florida.
- After an arrest, a plea bargain at a first appearance may get you out of jail quickly. But accepting a conviction, even on a lesser charge, may have a significant impact on your future. Always consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer for advice.
- If you are released on bond, you need to appear in court on your assigned date, or there will be a warrant for your arrest. Returning to your home state will not make this go away.
Contact the AP Law Group Immediately for Aggressive Defense and Sound Legal Counsel
The AP Law Group has extensive trial experience and proven results defending misdemeanor, felony, and federal crimes. Attorneys Tania Alavi and Andrew Pozzuto know how to protect your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. Our attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of Florida’s criminal law, with strategic defenses against prosecution. We will guide you with compassion every step of the way through the criminal court process.
Contact our criminal defense law offices in Ocala and Gainesville, Florida, at 352-732-9191. We provide the strong legal representation that you need to avoid harsh penalties. Do not let spring break festivities ruin your fun or your future.