Three major events seem to happen at the same time. This year, the Winter Music Conference, Ultra Music Festival, and Spring Break all seem to overlap.
Miami and Miami Beach are two very popular destination for spring breakers. Miami Beach estimates that 1.2 million people will visit this spring. Also this week, the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival are in full swing, bringing tourists from all over the world to Miami-Dade County.
While this tourism is great for our local economy, it also prompts a lot of law enforcement activity. Recent reports indicate that just due to the Ultra Music Festival alone, several arrests have been made. These arrests are usually for drug or alcohol-related offenses.
The problem with getting arrested while attending a music festival or while on spring break is that you probably don't live in Florida. When you are arrested in Florida, now you must answer to criminal charges in this jurisdiction.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can retain an attorney who will represent you in absentia. That means that a written waiver of your physical presence can be filed with the court, preventing you from having to travel to Florida to go to court. Your attorney can represent you without you having to be present.
For felonies, you will likely have to be present for certain hearings, although waivers can be filed for arraignment and sounding (calendar call). Plea and trial dates will require your physical presence.
Regardless, getting arrested while on vacation is no fun, but ignoring the issue can result in the issuance of a bench warrant (misdemeanor) or alias capias (felony).
If you are visiting Miami and you are arrested, call me.