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Arrive on vacation, leave on probation? Not necessarily!

Whether you read it on a T-shirt or just heard it as a punchline, the fact is that for far too many tourists to the West Palm Beach area, the saying "Arrive on vacation, leave on probation" becomes a reality.

According to a Florida bail bond website, the phrase originated when the bail bondsman was quaffing a few beers and eating raw oysters with his T-shirt-making buddy. He had just bailed out his brother for getting busted with a load of pot on his boat and was philosophizing about the experience. Suddenly, the two men had an epiphany and wrote their new slogan down on a napkin.

How it can happen

Maybe you came to Florida from a state where recreational marijuana use is legal, so you brought your stash. You're sitting out on your hotel balcony and light up a joint. But the people enjoying the ocean view from their own balcony right above you are far from sanguine about your pot smoking. They call the front desk, whose response is to send the men in blue to pound on your door. Busted!

Alternatively, you may have overdone it while lying in the sun on the beach and drinking more than your usual number of beers. When the gang decides to head out for dinner, you inadvisedly climb behind the wheel. Driving in an unfamiliar area, you swerve out of your lane a couple times trying to read the address numbers on nearby buildings. You then see those dreaded blue lights in your rearview mirror. You've just become a Florida DUI statistic.

Your secret is not safe

An arrest, even one that happens out of state, can derail your tidy little life back home. With computers connecting databases everywhere and online arrest records being readily available, it is rarely possible to conceal the details of your arrest from employers, school officials and others who hold sway over important aspects of your life.

You may be tempted to simply enter a quick guilty plea to get this very unpleasant aspect of your life over. But that might not be the best path forward for you.

You can fight these charges

A conviction on the charge(s) is not a foregone conclusion in many cases. A Boca Raton criminal defense attorney can review the circumstances of your arrest. In some cases, what, at first glance, appears to be an open-and-shut case against a defendant can instead fall apart when legitimate evidentiary challenges are launched by the defense.

Perhaps the Breathalyzer that recorded your blood alcohol content (BAC) hadn't been recently calibrated according to regulations. Or, the police who barged into your hotel room could have entered the wrong room by mistake and then discovered your weed stash. There also could have been a breach in the chain of command of the evidence against you.

Regardless, these are all ways that the prosecution's case against you could begin to crumble into nothing. Learning more about your defense options can strengthen your chances of acquittal or having the charges against you be dismissed.

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