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Out-of-State Arrests: What Happens When You’re Arrested on Vacation in Miami

It’s vacation season, and while it’s tempting to let loose and make the most of your time off, law enforcement is prepared to arrest those who party too hard this summer. Keep reading to find out what happens if you’re arrested on vacation.


Law enforcement operates in “jurisdictions.” A jurisdiction is a geographical area where local police and prosecutors can operate; Florida state police have jurisdiction within the state’s borders, and Miami police work within the city.

So, if a crime takes place in another state, it’s outside of Florida’s jurisdiction. For example, a visitor gets involved in a drunken brawl at a local Miami bar. The vacationer would be charged with assault and battery in Florida instead of their home state.

However, some crimes can fall under another jurisdiction even if the defendant never steps foot into the state. For example, child endangerment charges can apply to someone out-of-state as long as the child lives within their jurisdiction.

Out-of-State DUIs

Having a good time on vacation isn’t a crime, but driving under the influence is. If you are arrested for a DUI in another state, your case can become complicated very quickly. Generally speaking, a DUI alone will be handled by the local police, but the arrest and conviction will go into the national database. This means that if you get another DUI charge in your home state, it will count as a secondary DUI instead of a first offense.

License suspensions are carried over from state to state. This means that if your license is suspended for any reason, it will stay suspended regardless of state lines. So, if your license is suspended in Miami, whether you go to Alabama or across the country to California, your driver’s license will still be suspended.

Only a handful of states don’t recognize out-of-state DUIs, including:

  • Tennessee
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Wisconsin
  • Massachusetts

Even though these states don’t recognize DUIs from another state, you cannot move to erase your record.


If an arrest warrant has been issued against you in another state, you can be extradited to face the criminal charges. For example, if you commit arson in Idaho but live in Florida, you could be transferred for criminal processing through extradition.

Legal Defense

In most misdemeanor cases, the court will allow a lawyer in the area to defend an out-of-state offender. If you choose to hire a local attorney, you will not need to appear in court. The attorney will represent you in court at every step of the process.

Local legal counselors can also work with felony cases, but their clients will still need to appear in court. So, if you are charged with a felony assault in Miami, a Florida lawyer can help, but you’ll still have to appear in a Miami-Dade County Court.

What To Do If You’re Arrested in Another State

If you are arrested or charged with a crime in another state, speak to an attorney immediately. Your rights to a fair trial still apply to out-of-state charges, but a lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.

At The Hoffman Firm, we are proud to serve clients charged with crimes in Miami. Our team has a thorough knowledge of Florida law, and we have over two decades of experience in and out of court. When you work with us, you can rest assured that we will aggressively advocate for your rights.

Contact The Hoffman Firm today for more information.

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