If you live outside of Florida or the county in which you were arrested, then your defense becomes more complicated. Defending yourself against any criminal accusation is a stressful experience, but these difficulties are increased if you live out of state. Traveling back to Florida for various court dates can be expensive and take you away from your responsibilities at home and work.
At the The Defense Group, we work hard to help our out of state clients avoid any unnecessary court appearances while still fighting for the best result. If you were arrested anywhere in Central Florida, but live out of the State of Florida, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss ways to effectively handle your criminal defense.

Diversion Programs for Clients Living Out of State
If this is your first offense, then discuss with your attorney the possibility of entering a diversion program without ever returning to the State of Florida. Successful completion of these diversion programs requires the prosecutor to drop all of the charges against you after you successfully complete the program. Once the charges are dropped, you may then be eligible to expunge your criminal record.
Diversion programs are not right for everyone. Certain professionals should discuss the implications of entering a diversion program with an attorney, especially college and graduate school students, lawyers, law enforcement officers, members of the military, teachers, and healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses.

Waiving your Appearance at All Pre-trial Court Dates and Hearings
It may also be possible for your attorney to waive your appearance at all pre-trial court dates and hearings, meaning that you may only have to travel back to Florida on one or two occasions even if you would like to resolve your case during a jury or bench trial.
Experienced attorneys engage in what is called motion practice in an effort to limit the evidence against you or to have the charges dismissed outright. While there are no guarantees that your case will support such motions. At least an experienced attorney can analyze your case to minimize the potential consequences.
Defending Your Criminal Case in Central Florida
Many people are arrested in the Central Florida area while visiting friends or family, traveling for business, attending a sporting event or vacationing. Those cases require special attention because of the inconvenience and expense of traveling back to the Central Florida area to fight the charges.
If you are from out of town, you should contact an experienced Central Florida criminal defense attorney for a free evaluation of your case over the phone or in our office. If you live out of state or out of the county, we may be able to aggressively defend you against the charges while still being able to handle your case without your presence.
Charges commonly involving a tourist or visitor in the Central Florida Area include:

  • Drunk driving / DUI cases
  • DUI refusal to submit to testing
  • Felony DUI cases
  • Public Intoxication
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Shoplifting
  • Domestic Battery
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Other Drug Charges
  • Arrested at Orlando or Sanford International Airport?
    In 2016 over 40 million travelers arrived at the Orlando International Airport and over 66 million came to Central Florida to visit. Another million and a half arrived at the Sanford Airport. Many of these people wound up being arrested before even leaving the airport. The arrests ranged from activities alleged to have taken place in flight to possession of contraband, disorderly conduct, and arrests on warrants,
    Prosecutions for possession of drugs or other contraband can occur even if those items were possessed accidentally. Passengers arrive at the airport with baggage that unknowingly contains some type of contraband. Even items not specifically listed in the TSA rules are illegal if they could be considered dangerous.
    September 11, 2001, both the TSA and local, state and federal; law enforcement authorities have implemented a more aggressive stance on arresting and prosecuting individuals. The charges prosecuted can include disorderly conduct, public intoxication, trespass, or resisting arrest with or without violence. Some of these cases involve allegations of “making terrorist threats” for simple disputes concerning loss luggage, long delays, canceled flights, and other similar frustrations common with airport travel.
    If you have been arrested while visiting the Orlando area, and surrounding counties, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Defense Group who can talk with you about what led up to your arrest, ways to aggressively fight your case, and the likelihood that your case could be handled without your presence if you live out of the area.

    Arrested at Disney World, or Universal Studios?
    If you have been arrested or charged with a crime at Disney World, Epcot, Universal Studios or any other Central Florida attraction, contact an experienced Central Florida criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Sometimes it is necessary to subpoena security video footage from the parks. Extra care must be taken in these cases to obtain the necessary documents and evidence needed to fight the charges, including video evidence.

    Plea in Absentia for Florida Cases
    In the event that favorable plea negotiations take place and the prosecutor is willing to reduce the charges against you, you may be able to enter a “plea in absentia” to a misdemeanor offense.
    A “plea in absentia” means that your attorney can enter the plea on your behalf after you sign a “plea form.” The plea in absentia is particularly beneficial if the prosecutor is reducing the charges, allowing you a withhold of adjudication to avoid a conviction, and not requiring any probation. Different judges have different requirements for the plea in absentia form. There is no right to this procedure but we are experienced in urging this from the prosecution.

    Transfer of Probation Out of State
    While it is always our first goal to get the charges dropped or dismissed, this is not always possible. In the event that a pea is entered and probation s part of the sentence, it is critical that we be able to get your probation supervision transferred to your home town. This is particularly important because getting probation transferred out of Florida to your home state, requires a process dealing with the Intestate Compact. This requires local officials to coordinate with probation officials in your home state. The Florida Department of Corrections has estimated that as of December 1, 2014, over 7,000 “other state offenders” were being supervised in the State of Florida, and nearly an additional 6,000 Florida offenders were being supervised out of state. Often if it is a misdemeanor offense, the Court will allow mail in reporting from wherever you live to the Florida Probation Officer.

    Additional Resources
    The link below will take you to the website that explains the Interstate Compact for Transferring Probation
    Interstate Compact for Transferring Probation Out of State From Florida – Visit the website for the Florida Department of Corrections, to learn more about the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) (often called the “interstate compact”). The ICAOS applies to the transfer of offenders between the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The interstate compact applies to adult offender supervision when supervised offenders or probationers are allowed to move across state boundaries either into or out of the State of Florida. Find the definition of resident and resident family, eligibility to transfer probation under the Interstate Compact, whether misdemeanors are eligible for transfer, and the registration requirements for felons and sex offenders in Florida.

    Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the The Defense Group to discuss ways to aggressively fight the charges against you while you minimize the stress and aggravation of traveling back to the Orlando/Central Florida area for court appearances.
    If you were arrested in the Orlando/Central Florida area but live out of the county or out of state, contact us today for more information about your criminal defense. Call 407-831-1956 or 352-742-9090.

    We can help!!