If you're arrested in Boca Raton, hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is key to minimizing the impact this event will have in your life. Even if you're facing serious charges, we have the knowledge, skills, and resources to advocate for better outcomes at every stage of the legal process. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone facing criminal charges in Florida is entitled to a court-appointed lawyer. Prioritize your future by hiring a defense attorney with experience and a proven track record of success.
Boca Raton is a coastal Florida community in south Palm Beach County known for premier shopping and dining, beautiful beaches, and Florida Atlantic University.
About 100,000 residents call this city home, though it swells with tourists and workers during the day - especially in season. It’s considered a relatively safe community, but as the Boca Raton criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm know, it has its fair share of reported crimes and criminal prosecutions.
In a single recent year, the Boca Raton Police Department reported more than 1,300 arrests. Those included:
- Robbery - 3%
- Aggravated assault - 4%
- Burglary - 3%
- Larceny/theft - 19%
- Simple assault - 18%
- DUI - 5.5%
- Drug arrests - 3%
- White collar crimes (fraud, embezzlement, etc.) - 2.5%
Only a handful were for murder, rape, non-forcible sex offenses and kidnapping. A sizable number of assaults and sexual offenses in Boca Raton are categorized as incidents of domestic violence. And about 8 percent were juvenile offenses.
Most criminal matters in Boca Raton are typically handled by either the:
- Florida 15th Judicial Circuit (mostly felonies) OR
- Palm Beach County Municipal Court (most misdemeanors, juvenile cases, marine infractions, county/city ordinance violations, and traffic offenses).
Less commonly, Boca Raton criminal defendants may face federal charges, which will be handled by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The federal courthouse in West Palm Beach will be where federal cases are heard. Federal offenses are those that violate federal law, cross state borders, defraud a federal organization (I.R.S., Medicare, Social Security, etc.), or are especially heinous.
As dedicated Boca Raton criminal defense attorneys, our team at The Ansara Law Firm is dedicated to defending our clients’ rights and furthering their best interests.Boca Raton Criminal Defense Lawyer Defends Your Rights
From the very earliest stages of an investigation, we can offer advice for how to handle any police encounters or questions. We can analyze law enforcement tactics to determine if any evidence was improperly obtained and therefore vulnerable to suppression. We can negotiate with prosecutors, sometimes successfully arguing against charges being filed in the first place.
Having a strong legal defense is more important now than ever in Southeast Florida, considering a number of Florida Supreme Court rulings in recent years that have eroded protections for criminal defendants. In particular, the court has shown an increasing willingness to sidestep stare decisis, which is a common law legal principle holding that previous legal decisions are relevant and persuasive - if not binding - in future cases with similar facts or issues. Prior precedential decisions tending to favor defendants are increasingly being disregarded as simply, “the court got it wrong.”
Just a few recent examples:
- Convictions can now be based solely on circumstantial evidence. In 1981, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed an appellate standard that essentially held convictions couldn’t be sustained if the sole proof of guilt was circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence was necessary to remove reasonable doubt. But with the 2020 ruling of Bush v. Florida, the state high court dropped this higher standard. This essentially has empowered prosecutors to pursue purely circumstantial cases they might otherwise have dropped.
- A hard line on severe penalty cases. In 2020, the Florida Supreme Court overturned precedent to limit protections of death row prisoners identified as intellectually disabled. In Phillips v. State, the defendant has been sentenced to death for a 1982 homicide. The sentencing was initially overturned for ineffective counsel. At re-sentencing, jurors recommended life in prison, but the judge imposed death anyway. Later, the U.S. Supreme Court found this single-judge ruling in Florida’s death penalty cases was unconstitutional. The defendant tried to overturn his sentence, but Florida courts denied him, saying he failed to meet an old standard proving his IQ was under 70. Then in the 2014 case of Hall v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this IQ cutoff was too narrow and unconstitutional. But the Florida Supreme Court followed by saying Hall doesn’t apply retroactively to cases closed by 2014 - even when we’re talking about the death penalty. This move was highly criticized, and may be vulnerable to a challenge, but it just illustrates why it’s so important to have a skilled, knowledgeable defense lawyer.
Erosion of such long-established protections for criminal defendants in Florida just further underscore how important it is to hire a highly-skilled defense lawyer if you’re facing criminal charges in Boca Raton. We’ll fight tirelessly to ensure you have a fair trial, and we’ll do all we can to minimize the negative impact these accusations have on your life.
Contact the Boca Raton Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011.