Underage Spring Break Arrests in 2024

April 9, 2024 Criminal Defense, Juvenile Offenses, News & Announcements

As the month of March progresses, so has the number of arrests made for Florida Spring Breakers. While people of all ages and backgrounds head to Florida for sunshine and beaches this month, law enforcement are on high alert for suspected criminal activity.

Teenagers and young adults under 21 should be especially wary this Spring Break. Although not yet considered an adult, minors who are arrested while on break can still face profound consequences. This page will cover the major dangers Spring Break poses to minors, as well as example cases of young people already arrested this year.

Dangers of Spring Break for Minors

While visitors of all ages head to the beach for Spring Break in Florida, it can be especially dangerous for minors. This is because of the frequent partying that is associated with Spring Break. Places like Miami and Panama City Beach have experienced high rates of crime during Spring Break over the years, leading to curfews and even a “break up with Spring Break” campaign to deter people from going there.

Minors going on their Spring Break should be aware of the following dangers:

  • Underage drinking Young people who go attend Spring Break festivities should be aware of the penalties for underage drinking, as well as the concern for excessive alcohol consumption. Not only is this against the law, but this type of behavior can pose a risk to the minor’s well-being;
  • Motor vehicle accidents/DUI – Driving across or to the state of Florida for Spring Break often results in crowded highways. Young people who are distracted or under the influence while operating a vehicle can face criminal charges as well as putting themselves and others in danger;
  • Unsafe conditions – Due to overcrowding and overbooking that tends to occur along the beaches of Florida, Spring Break can result in dangerous conditions. This can include properties that are poorly maintained or a lack of security that leads to theft or other crime; and
  • Disorder and Increased Crime – A combination of large crowds and partying can lead to both disorder and crime.

Law enforcement has taken different measures over the years to combat excessive crime over Spring Break. However, there have already been a large number of arrests made so far in 2024.

Officials Report 100+ Arrests in First Weekend of Spring Break

Patrolling for Spring Break began across Florida the first weekend of March. Since then, there have already been over 100 arrests in certain counties. According to a local report, deputies with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) have experienced a “very busy first week.”

The biggest concern for 2024? Underage drinking. OCSO Beach Marine Unit Sergeant Kyle Corbitt provided the following statement:

“We are expecting probably to have one of our busiest—if not, busiest—year yet. We’ve already made 109 arrests since last Saturday. We made a few felony narcotic arrests and stuff on some spring breakers but most of our offenses are underage possession of alcohol and we have made an arrest on a male who was, I believe, almost 50 years old for having an open house party with a bunch of underage kids in his house…

A lot of it is all alcohol related. Your fights, your sexual batteries. We’ve had in years past, people 15, 16, 17-years-old being extremely intoxicated and falling off balconies. So that’s the biggest thing for us. We’re going to stop it at the beginning, so it doesn’t ever get to that point.”

OCSO is working with rental property managers to make sure the Spring Breakers comply with the rules or face consequences. There have already been noise complaints on a nightly basis, as well as people being kicked out of their rental for hosting parties or hosting too many people outside of the property’s regulations. Corbitt said while OCSO wants to welcome visitors to the area, their stay should remain both safe and responsible.

Example Cases

The following provides two recent cases of minors being arrested on Spring Break:

  • Volusia County A minor accused of pulling out a firearm on a crowded beach has been arrested in Volusia County. According to the local report, a fight broke out on the sand of New Smyrna Beach. As deputies were going to confront those involved, people in the crowd started to yell, “he has a gun!” Deputies then spotted a person running into the water holding a firearm. The individual placed the gun in the bag he was holding and threw it into the water. The deputies commanded the suspect to get out of the water with their hands up, which he eventually complied with. The officers retrieved the bag from the ocean, containing the gun and 20 plastic bags of marijuana. The suspect turned out to be only 16 years-old, and has since been charged with the following:

The report indicates that the minor was also arrested for charges outside of Orange County, including robbery with a firearm and violation of probation.

  • Walton County Officers with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office arrested a minor from Huntsville, Alabama for unlawful conduct over Spring Break in the Florida Panhandle. According to the report, officers were conducting crowd control among a large group of juvenile Spring Breakers when they spotted one minor who was drinking a Michelob Ultra beer. The officers went to place the teen under arrest when he suddenly punched one of the officers in the head. The officers managed to place the teen under arrest and began escorting him to the patrol car when he slipped out and punched another officer in the nose. The juvenile was booked into the Walton County Jail before getting transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Crestview, Florida. The Huntsville teen has been charged with the following:

Contact the Juvenile Defense Attorneys with Pumphrey Law

While young people should be encouraged to have fun during Spring Break, it cannot be stressed enough how detrimental the consequences of being arrested as a minor can be. Even if you are under 18, there are still harsh implications that can occur when going through the juvenile justice system. It’s also worth noting that Florida has one of the highest rates of transferring minors to be charged as adults. A teenager who is found guilty of a crime can lose out on scholarships, lose their acceptance into college, or even get suspended or expelled from their school or university.

As the parent of a minor who was recently arrested over Spring Break in Florida, finding the right legal representation is paramount for a positive outcome. The Juvenile criminal defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm have decades of combined experience representing juveniles accused of an unlawful act. We can provide you with a free consultation when you call our office at (850) 681-7777 or fill in our form online.

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