Panama City is always a popular destination for legions of beachgoers during college spring break season. While spring break is supposed to be a chance to cut loose and have a little fun, it is also a time of significantly stepped up law enforcement activity throughout Northwestern Florida.
For many partygoers, spring break results in a serious criminal charge. After the 2013 spring break season, many individuals are facing accusations of criminal wrongdoing and are in need of a strong legal defense.
High number of arrests, underage drinking citations in Walton County; focus on drugs in Okaloosa County
Walton County, an increasingly popular spring break area east of Destin and west of Panama City Beach, led the region’s law enforcement crackdown during the spring break season. As of mid March, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office had made nearly 500 arrests in connection with spring break.
What’s more, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office issued 599 notices to appear in court for underage drinking between March 1 and March 22. During the same period in 2012, Walton County had issued just 400 citations for underage drinking. In other words, citations for underage drinking were up 50 percent from last year in Walton County.
In comparison, Okaloosa County issued a paltry 69 notices to appear for underage drinking over the first three weeks of spring break. This was a decline from last year.
However, Okaloosa County did take a strong stance against the sale or use of drugs during spring break. At a press conference in early March, Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley smashed more than $1 million worth of seized drug paraphernalia with a construction roller.
Affected by a spring break arrest in Northwest Florida? Contact a criminal defense attorney
Whether it’s underage drinking, drug charges, fights that spiral into assault accusations or any number of other potential legal issues, it’s clear that spring break can get a little out of hand at the so-called “Spring Break Capital of the World.” But, for students who come to blow off a little steam, there is no need to let a youthful indiscretion impact an otherwise promising future.
If you or a loved one has been cited for a criminal offense in Panama City or a neighboring community, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will help vigorously defend your legal rights and protect you from the potentially lifelong consequences of a spring break that got out of hand. Talk to a Panama City criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your legal options.