If you’re arrested in Boynton Beach, FL, acting with urgency to secure a top quality criminal defense team is essential. You cannot trust that a flawed system is going to save you from the worst possible outcome - even if you're innocent. The good news is there are a number of strong legal strategies that a skilled defense attorney can successfully employ to minimize the fallout - no matter how serious the allegations against you.
As longtime Boynton Beach Florida criminal defense lawyers, our team at The Ansara Law Firm has successfully helped hundreds of clients navigate a complicated legal system stacked against them.
This community of nearly 80,000 had an annual total of 3,180+ index crimes reported in a single recent year. But the clearance rate - or percentage of cases solved by local law enforcement - is less than one quarter. Murder had the highest clearance rate. About 30% of sexual assault cases were solved, as were 22% of robberies, 44% of aggravated assaults, 13% of burglaries, and 18% of thefts.
As outlined by recent crime statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the most common Boynton Beach arrests stem from the following offenses:
- Domestic violence (assault, aggravated assault, threats, rape & murder)
- Assault and battery
- Drug offenses (possession, trafficking, etc.)
- Gun & weapons crimes
These cases are typically filed at the state level by state attorneys (another name for prosecutors) in the 15th Judicial Circuit, which has courthouses in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Belle Glade, and Palm Beach Gardens.
At The Ansara Law Firm, we are knowledgeable in Florida statute and case law, as well as all the local procedures and players. This can be invaluable when you’re trying to get out ahead of serious or embarrassing charges and negotiate with prosecutors early on in the case.The Kitchen Sink Strategy vs. the Pots & Pans Tactic
You may have heard that criminal cases rarely go to trial. This is true - but that’s not because most of them get dropped. As noted by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, somewhere between 90 and 95 percent of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargaining. But whether that process is fair and equitable is up for debate.
Proponents of plea bargaining argue it allows for swift resolution in a system where there are simply too many indictments for prosecutors to reasonably handle well and that defendants often lack the resources to adequately prepare for trial. That’s probably true. However, the flip side of that coin is that if prosecutors had to take each case to trial, they’d be compelled to only pursue cases with strong evidence.
But because that is not the way our system works - and because prosecutors have a huge amount of discretion in filing criminal charges – we get something called “the kitchen sink strategy.” That is, prosecutors will load up on charges – “everything but the kitchen sink” – and then use that to strong-arm guilty pleas into some of them. Piling on more serious charges puts a ton of pressure on the defendant, and it can also negatively impact the perspective of the public and prospective jurors.
This approach is especially effective when defendants:
- Are held for long periods in pre-trial detention
- Have a prior criminal record that raises the stakes of the new charges
- Use a public defender, who may be very good but have less time to devote to each case
- Don’t have a defense lawyer at all, as this is a right that is only guaranteed in Florida for defendants facing jail time
It’s also been shown that certain extralegal characteristics, such as race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status impacts the outcome of plea bargaining. Many defendants are approaching one of the most serious tests of their lives, and they’re starting at a disadvantage for reasons that sometimes have nothing to do with the evidence.
In some cases, prosecutors have more discretion than judges, as judges are often confined to strict sentencing guidelines. This is why our Boynton Beach criminal defense lawyers prefer to get out ahead of that “kitchen sink strategy” of theirs with a “pots and pans tactic.”
Consider that individual state attorneys in Palm Beach County are responsible for making the call on whether to file hundreds – in some cases, thousands – of criminal cases. In fact, some jurisdictions have attorneys whose sole job is figuring out which cases to file. If a defendant secures legal representation quickly, there’s a better chance their defense lawyer can be proactive and make noise (hence the “pots and pans” reference).
By presenting the state attorney reviewing your case with case weaknesses (contradictory evidence, lack of evidence, new evidence, mitigating circumstances, etc.), there’s a chance charges might not ever be filed. Alternatively, there’s a better chance that if charges are filed, they will not be as serious as they otherwise might have. That puts you in a much stronger position - whether your case goes to trial or whether you ultimately agree to a plea deal.
Working with a Boynton Beach criminal defense lawyer who has a strong reputation and lengthy track record of success in cases similar to yours will give you the peace of mind that whatever happens, you’re better positioned for the best possible outcome.
Contact the Palm Beach County criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm, by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (954) 761-4011.