Tuesday, February 15, 2011

St. Petersburg Bars’ 3AM Closing Time Sparks More Arrests

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses how St. Petersburg’s new bar closing time of 3AM has sparked more and more arrests.


Less than 1 year ago, St. Petersburg officially changed the closing time of local bars from 2AM to 3AM in a move to compete for more business and more patrons as other local cities had later closing times.

Now the city has realized that the later closing time brings additional opportunities for criminal behavior including public intoxication, disturbances, DUI, and assault/battery.

Arrests in St. Petersburg since the new closing time went into effect have shot up 253% in the 2AM to 4AM time frame prompting the St. Petersburg Police Department to consider additional officers and patrols in the downtown area.

Why This Matters To You:

The St. Petersburg Police Department’s focus on cracking down on revelers in the downtown district and spiking arrest rates could land otherwise law abiding patrons in handcuffs.  As law enforcement becomes more focused and aggressive (Mayor Bill Foster has vowed that St. Petersburg will not become another Ybor City), what has long been accepted as normal revelry, and perhaps getting a bit “out of hand” - but not subject to criminal charges - will now be vigorously pursued by law enforcement.

In many instances, individuals arrested while out partying are First Time Offenders who require aggressive criminal defense to protect their rights and provide every opportunity to avoid a criminal record which may negatively affect scholastic and job opportunities.

What To Do Next:

If you have been arrested for public intoxication, public disturbance, assault/battery, DUI or other criminal offenses contact a St. Petersburg First Time Offender Attorney to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case.  Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss your case directly with an attorney, or fill out our Online Form to be contacted for a Free Initial Consultation.  The Morris Law Firm can help and has specific knowledge and experience in defending criminal offenders throughout Pinellas County and the entire Tampa Bay, FL Area (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Bradenton, Manatee, and Sarasota).