If you or your child have been arrested on Spring Break in Pinellas County, Florida then they will need a quick defense. The penalties you could be facing are potentially life-changing.
Many young people get caught up in one-time mistakes while partying during Spring Break, but our lawyers can win some leniency from a judge to avoid painful penalties.
Here’s what you can do:
What to Do Next After a Spring Break Arrest in Pinellas County
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately.
If you’ve been arrested on Spring Break in Pinellas County, we welcome you to call us today for a free consultation.
Our criminal defense lawyers are highly experienced and will make an aggressive and fast defense. We regularly help people like you to get their cases dropped entirely, or reduced to lower charges with less damaging penalties.
Do Not Plead Guilty or Admit Fault
- Don’t make any statements to law enforcement that suggest you made a mistake.
- Don’t make posts on social media about your arrest. They can be used against you.
- Pleading guilty will prevent your right to challenge your arrest.
Privately Remember Everything That Happened
After a spring break arrest in Pinellas County, we advise you to write down (privately) everything that happened. While your memory is fresh, you may be able to remember something that could get your charges dropped.
- Write down what you remember.
- Who were you with?
- Where were you?
- How many drinks did you have?
- Did you take any drugs?
- Were you on any medication?
- How did law enforcement approach you?
- What did the police say to you?
- What did you say to them?
What To Do After a DUI on Spring Break in Pinellas County
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI on spring break in Pinellas County, please call our Florida DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible.
We may be able to prove your arrest was unlawful, or get your charges reduced so you can keep your license and avoid a damaged future.
- License suspension for up to six months
- Fines of between $1,000-$2,000
- Possible jail time with a BAC of .08% or higher
Read Related: DUI with a Child in the Car in Pinellas County
Save Your License
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, your driver’s license has already been suspended. You now have the chance to obtain a temporary ‘hardship license’ for 42 days. This is obtained by challenging the suspension via a civil administrative hearing (requested by your criminal defense lawyer).
Hardship licenses allow you to drive for essential purposes such as employment.
You must make the challenge within 10 days from the date of your arrest.
Was The Arrest Lawful?
We regularly see DUI arrests in Pinellas County that are unlawful. Spring Break is prone to police officers miscommunicating with young people who have never performed breathalyzer tests or been arrested before.
We urge you to remember everything that happened during the arrest.
- Law enforcement may have stopped you without reasonable suspicion you were committing a crime or traffic violation.
- Your breathalyzer test may have been inaccurate due to poor calibration, misuse or bad instructions.
- You may have refused a breath test due to a misunderstanding or health issue.
- Your Miranda rights weren’t read to you.
- You were accused of failing a sobriety test, but you didn’t understand the instructions or had a physical limitation or health issue that impaired you.
Reduce Your Charges
If the evidence is stacked against you, we can still help.
Reducing your charges from a DUI to a ‘Careless Driving’ charge for example will result in far less severe penalties.
For first-time DUI offenders, there is also the Pinellas County D.R.O.P program. The program allows first-time DUI offenders to fast-track through the system, reducing their charges to a Reckless Driving charge.
What to Do After an Underage Drinking Arrest in Pinellas County
The U.S. has a zero-tolerance approach to underage DUIs. If you (or your child) were caught driving under the influence while under the age of 21, the likelihood of a conviction is high. They may face jail time, expensive fines and a suspended license.
Please contact our criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible to clear their name or reduce their charges.
What to Do After a Spring Break Bar Fight Arrest in Pinellas County
If your spring break arrest was for a fight in a bar, beach or in the street then please call our Florida criminal defense lawyers immediately.
Assault or battery charges can be very serious and should be defended with a strong and reputable lawyer.
Was it Self Defense?
If you didn’t start the fight, you may be able to clear your name. If you were reacting to punches thrown your way, or a provocation then you may be deemed to have acted in self-defense.
What to Do If You’re Arrested for Disorderly Conduct or Intoxication?
Charges for disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication, assault or battery can come with life-changing penalties. Here’s what you can do:
Did You Endanger the Public?
Many people on spring break get arrested for causing a ‘breach of peace’ or ‘endangering the public’.
But we may be able to prove that this wasn’t true. Or for example, you may have been shouting to find a friend or defending yourself verbally
Many judges will take leniency for defendants who are taking accountability for their drinking habits. For example, if you drank too much and were arrested for causing chaos in the streets, then you’ll need to stand out from the rest.
Our criminal defense lawyers can help with this, by advising you to go to a reputable AA meeting or counselor. Doing so can be tedious, but save you from future mistakes and painful criminal penalties.
What to Do After a Drug Possession Charge on Spring Break?
If you or your child has been arrested for a drug-related charge on spring break in Pinellas County, please contact our criminal defense attorneys for a swift defense. Marijuana use in the areas is very common during spring break and even for a trace amount, the penalties can be severe.
- Up to 5 years in prison.
- Up to $5,000 fine.
Was the Search Unlawful?
Even if you had drugs in your possession, you have Fourth Amendment rights that should not be violated through an unlawful search.
The police must have had a valid reason to stop your car or search your being.
Did You Know the Drug Was Present?
If the State cannot prove you knew the drugs were present, then you may have a possible defense. This is common in cases where friends were in your vehicle earlier in the night and put or dropped their drugs on the floor, in glove compartments or in the center consoles. This is especially true if the drug quantity was really minor.
Juvenile Crime Defense in Pinellas County
In Florida, any person under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile. However, juvenile crimes in Florida can still be transferred to adult courts and result in serious penalties.
Juvenile defendants are taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC). They will then be questioned and released once a parent is aware of the charges.
Your child may face a 21-day secure detention, or home detention. Their charges may also be treated as adult charges for serious crimes such as rape, battery or murder.
If your child has been arrested for a crime in Pinellas County, please contact our criminal defense lawyers immediately.
Which Beaches Can I Drink on in Pinellas County?
Different beaches have different rules, please check the laws before drinking on a beach to avoid arrest. According to VisitStPeteClearwater.com’s advice, the recently updated list is as follows:
- Clearwater Beach: No alcohol on public beaches.
- Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island: No alcohol.
- Belleair Beach: No alcohol.
- Indian Rocks Beach: No Alcohol
- Fort De Soto Park: No Alcohol
- Madeira Beach: Alcohol beverages are allowed but not in glass containers.
- St. Pete Beach: Alcohol is allowed on the sand at beachfront hotels, but only for hotel guests.
- Treasure Island: Alcohol is allowed but not in glass containers. No alcohol on the beach between the 8500 block and the 9900 block of Treasure Island Beach (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends.)
- Redington Beach: Alcohol is allowed. Glass bottles are not recommended.
Spring Break Statistics Pinellas County
- 1.4 million visitors during March 2022.
- $13 million hotel bed tax.
- Over 570,000 students will be in Florida for spring break 2023.
Spring Break Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL
If you want to beat a spring break arrest in Pinellas County, please contact our Florida criminal defense lawyers. We are local and award-winning defense lawyers who will fight fast and aggressively to get you or your child’s name cleared.
Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300