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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

What if I’m Charged with a Crime While Visiting Miami?

Miami is one of the most popular cities for tourists in the entire United States. Last year, more than 14 million tourists came to enjoy the city. More than 7 million were visiting from abroad. Many millions more were visiting from out-of-state. And that’s just Miami – add Fort Lauderdale or Key West and we’re talking even higher numbers.

That’s no surprise. Maybe you came to enjoy a cruise, and you were one of the more than 8 million people who departed from PortMiami or Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the two busiest passenger cruise ports in the world. Or you came down for the Winter Music Congress or Miami Salsa Congress, for Carnaval Miami or the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. The Orange Bowl or to catch the last race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Millions come to Miami every year. But of those millions, hundreds will be arrested and accused of committing some sort of criminal offense.

What if that happens to you?

Getting arrested can be frightening or embarrassing under the best of circumstances. And you’re not in the best circumstances when you need to catch a flight in a few days, to carry on with your life and responsibilities back home. If you’ve been arrested in south Florida, and you’re not a resident of the State of Florida, you need a lawyer.

First, you need to hire an experienced, aggressive Miami lawyer who focuses his practice on criminal defense. Why not hire a lawyer back home? Because the prosecutor back in Florida will be able to prosecute the crime in Miami if the crime was allegedly committed here, regardless of where you call home. The charges won’t go away, and some of the proceedings will require you to be present. If you don’t attend your hearings, you will get a bench warrant for your arrest.

But fewer may require your attendance if you have a local criminal defense lawyer representing you, because an experienced defense attorney knows to use the rules on how to ask the court to waive the requirement that you appear for certain hearings.

Say you’ve been arrested for one of the most common charges that a non-resident visiting Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Key West ends up facing: DUI, simple battery, disorderly conduct, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, reckless drving. (But especially DUI—drunk driving—which is why every tourist should know or click on the Four Things to Remember If You’ve Been Arrested for DUI in Miami.)

The good news for you is that you can hire a Miami or South Florida criminal defense lawyer who will be able to appear on your behalf at several of the criminal proceedings and possibly all the way through trial. That means you won’t have to buy nearly as many plane tickets to go back to court in Miami – and you won’t have to try to explain to your boss why you keep asking for more time off so soon after your vacation.

It can be tough to pick the right criminal defense attorney, but that is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Because you’re going to be working with your criminal defense lawyer from a distance, it’s all the more important to make sure that you trust him and communicate well together. Whether you’ve been charged with a felony in Florida or a misdemeanor in Miami, you’re going to spend time working from afar to fight for your name, your job, and your freedom.

Start by asking or clicking Five Questions you should ask any Miami criminal defense lawyer.

Among those questions, here are the three most important:

Does he have the right attitude? You want a defense attorney who is creative and believes that almost any case can be won.

Is he thorough? Your lawyer must leave no stone unturned and have concrete ideas for how to attack the criminal charge against you from several angles.

Is he experienced? He should have extensive experience defending people accused of crimes just like the charge against you – and, the more experience he has, the more likely it is that he knows the judge or prosecutor assigned to your case, which will give him additional insight to help build the strongest defense for you.

No matter what, whether or not you choose me to help you—and I’ve successfully defended thousands of clients in my practice, which I started back when Ronald Reagan was president—I strongly urge you not to go it alone. It’s almost always a bad idea to try to represent yourself in a criminal matter. But it’s always a horrible plan if you’re from out-of-state but accused of a crime in south Florida. Get the best help you can if you’re a non-resident who wants the best chance to successfully defeat that criminal charge.

Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

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