There is no specific Florida law making it illegal to sleep in a car, but it can be illegal under certain circumstances. If you wish to sleep in your car, it is important to be in a safe place without parking restrictions or ordinances against sleeping in public.
You Should Not Trespass While Sleeping in the Car
Many people who get in trouble for sleeping in a car are arrested for trespassing. If you sleep in your car, it must be in an area where you have permission to remain throughout the entire night. Rest areas and truck stops often allow sleeping, but many public parks and private commercial properties do not. Check with the owner of the property to avoid trespassing charges and obey all local parking laws.
Sleeping in a Car Can Be an Ordinance Violation
Specific cities may have ordinances that make it a violation to sleep or loiter in a public area. These laws are mostly put in place to deter the homeless, but they can also be applied to people sleeping in a vehicle. Though ordinance violations do not usually result in severe punishments, you may face a fine or jail time. It is always important to be aware of local laws before sleeping in an area.
Sleeping Off a Few Drinks in Your Car Can Result in a DUI Charge
If you sleep in your car while intoxicated, Florida law allows an officer to arrest you for driving under the influence if you are in actual physical control of the vehicle. In the state of Florida, actual physical control depends on many things, including the location of the car, the location of the keys and if the engine is running. To be safe, a person should not have their keys anywhere in the interior of the car if they are intoxicated and sleeping in the vehicle.
Facing a DUI? Our Criminal Lawyer in St Petersburg Can Help
Since Florida laws about sleeping in a vehicle are so vague, it is important to have a talented attorney on your side if you end up with DUI charges. Our dedicated attorneys will work with you to protect your rights and get the best possible results. Call or contact us today for a free consultation about your case.