Traveling can be hectic. With so much going on at once, misunderstandings, mistakes, and accidents can happen. Procedures and security at airports have changed dramatically within the last decade. Common sense was replaced with "zero-tolerance" policies during a criminal investigation.
One of the main reasons that a person might be arrested at the airport is because of bringing a firearm, drugs or other contraband through security. Other reasons for an airport arrest might include trespass, disorderly conduct or a DUI in the parking lot.
Lately, local law enforcement officers and federal agents have been spending more time seizing money during asset forfeiture actions.
If you have been arrested at Palm Beach International Airport or another airport in South Florida including the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, then contact a criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our legal team can help you understand the charges you face and work with you one-on-one to ensure your rights are represented. We can help you get a favorable result in your case.
Whether you live in West Palm Beach, or out of state, we can help you fight the case. Many of our clients are out-of-town visitors. In some cases, we can handle your case without the need for you to return to Florida at all. We also represent clients in state and federal asset forfeiture cases when U.S. currency (cash or money) is seized for forfeiture.
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents clients in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Wellington, Lake Worth, Greenacres, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade, Jupiter, Royal Palm Beach, Juno Beach and the surrounding areas of Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free consultation.
Call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free consultation.
Airports see large amounts of daily traffic, and with so many people in one place, a variety of crimes or offenses can be committed. Airport arrests can be for a variety of misdemeanor or felony reasons. Some of the most commonly charged offenses in airports include:
Several of these arrests involved items that are prohibited at the airport and on the airplane. The Transportation Security Administration offers a complete list of what items are considered contraband, what items may be allowable and how certain items may be packed.
For instance, some items may be completely unacceptable if a person is in possession of it or if he or she has it located in a carry-on bag. That same item may be considered acceptable if it is packed a certain way and located in a checked bag where it is not acceptable.
According to TSA, some items that are considered completely banned in both carry on and check bags include:
With strict security in place, airports now have a zero-tolerance policy toward firearms and other types of weapons. Possession of any sort of weapon, no matter its severity, could lead to an arrest. For example, if a small pocket knife is found in a passenger's bag, he or she still could face criminal charges, even if he or she was not carrying it intentionally.
Most often these weapons are discovered when a person passes through security. There he or she remembers the weapon is in his or her possession, and once TSA officers locate the item, the person is detained and questioned.
Although most people think having a concealed carry permit means he or she can carry the firearm anywhere, carrying it through a restricted portion of an airport could mean facing weapons charges. Travelers only can transport unloaded firearms in a locked, hard-sided container as checked baggage, and it must be completely secured from being accessed, according to TSA.
Having a concealed carry permit could mean the charges would not be as severe. An attorney can argue a strong defense and request the charges be reduced or dropped. However, if a person does not have a permit, it could be harder to dispute the accusations.
Rather than being arrested, some people who are accused of misdemeanor or minor offenses at an airport could receive a notice to appear. This means the person is released and is expected to appear a court at a certain date. This likely is a better scenario because the passenger still has his or her freedom.
However, for more serious offenses a person would be arrested and taken to the local jail. This means he or she then would begin the Florida criminal process and would have to wait for a first appearance before a judge. This could be a long process.
What happens if local or federal law enforcement officers suspect that you are carrying large amounts of cash on a domestic flight? Recently, law enforcement officers with the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have become more aggressive in just seizing the cash and issuing the traveler a property receive for a "forfeiture hold" and notice that the money was seized for forfeiture. Contact us to find out why you shoudl act quickly.
In federal asset forfeiture cases, we can help you file a complaint demanding early judicial intervention which usually much better then going through the administrative proceedings. In state asset forfetiure cases, we can demand an adversarial preliminary hearing. By acting quickly, you have a better chance of getting all of money back and getting it back much quicker.
If you have been arrested in an airport in South Florida, contact an experienced Palm Beach County airport arrest defense lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We can help you make sure your rights are represented and help you get a favorable outcome in your case.
Call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free consultation.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.