As “The Theme Park Capital of the World,” the city of Melbourne is a regular destination not only for tourists in other American cities but travelers all over the globe. Unfamiliarity with state and federal laws can occasionally lead to people from other countries unknowingly committing alleged crimes and being placed under arrest.
For foreign nationals, an arrest in Florida is a frightening and confusing experience. The situation has the potential to severely impact the ability of these travelers to either leave the United States or possibly even be readmitted to their home countries.
Were you arrested in Satellite Beach while visiting from another country? Make sure that you have legal representation that is familiar with local courts.
James Coulter, our Brevard County international visitor arrest attorney at The Law Offices of James B. Coulter aggressively defend foreign nationals arrested in Central Florida and fights to help them return to their home countries as soon as possible. Call (321) 586-9944 to let us review your case during a free, confidential consultation.
The country that an alleged offender is a citizen of is not the primary concern of law enforcement in Florida. Rather, police focus on the nature of the crime and securing the evidence necessary to support any criminal charges.
Some of the alleged crimes that tourists or visitors from other countries are most often accused of in the Palm Shores area include, but are not limited to:
Travelers from other countries who are not physically placed under arrest following an encounter with law enforcement may be issued a notice to appear in lieu of being taken into custody. This form often has the appearance of a ticket and, thus, many alleged offenders can believe that their misdemeanor offenses or minor criminal matters can be resolved simply by paying a fine by mail.
However, a notice to appear is the legal equivalent of a formal arrest. It is still used to charge alleged offenders with criminal offenses. While such notices are typically given to alleged offenders who police officers determine are less likely to pose “flight risks,” there are occasions in which these notices are issued simply as a matter of convenience for law enforcement.
A notice to appear will list a court date, and an alleged offender who misses that court date can then have a bench warrant issued for his or her arrest. When a notice to appear becomes a failure to appear, it can cause significant additional complications specifically for international travelers who may suddenly find themselves unable to depart the United States or reenter their home countries.
When a foreign national is arrested in the Sunshine State, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) abides by the guidelines of the United States Department of State. This means that police officers will follow these steps:
When there is a pending criminal charge against an international visitor, this will be reflected on his or her passport or visa. Such criminal charge may become an issue when the visa or passport is presented as the foreign national attempts to leave the United States, and he or she may be denied the opportunity to leave.
If the international traveler is able to leave the United States, the criminal charge could still pose problems when his or her home country reviews the passport or visa upon re-entry. It is enormously important that the alleged offender not lie about the criminal charge at any time his or her visa or passport is being reviewed, as such dishonesty can lead to additional criminal charges that make his or her situation much worse.
If you were arrested while visiting Central Florida but live in another country, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have legal counsel that is extremely knowledgeable with state and local laws. The The Law Offices of James B. Coulter helps people from various countries who have been charged with all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses in the Rockledge area.
The The Law Offices of James B. Coulter understands the tremendously complicated nature of these types of cases, and we will work to achieve a resolution to your situation that minimizes or completely eliminates your obligation to make multiple court appearances in Florida. Let our Brevard County international arrest attorney will see how The Law Offices of James B. Coulter can help you by having us review your case when you call (321) 586-9944 for a free consultation.