Dania Beach, Florida is a coastal community on the Atlantic along the U.S. 1 and I-95 corridors. It’s home to 33,000 people (with population swells during the winter tourist season). It’s also where you’ll find the International Game & Fish Association World Fishing Center and The Casino @ Dania Beach, which hosts the Dania Jai Alai games. But for all it’s got going for it, Dania Beach has also historically had one of the highest crime rates in Florida.
As Dania Beach criminal defense lawyers, we do recognize there’s been a downward trend on crimes over the past few years. Yet in a single recent year, the rate of violent crime in Dania Beach was tallied at 370 per 100,000 - which is 1.4 times higher than the national average. Its full-time law enforcement officer ratio is higher than most police forces in Florida, yet the violent crime rate in Dania Beach was about 80 percent higher than the state rate, and the property crime rate was 44% higher.
The city has a contractual agreement with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for policing services, with a staff of 58 deputies, plus a dozen senior officers and a handful of administrative workers. Deputies in Dania Beach patrol residential areas of Poinciana Park, Dania Highlands, Sheraton Ocean Club, Meadowbrook North and Meadowbrook South, South Dixia, College Gardens, Modello Park, Byrd Point, Davis Isls, Estates of Fort Lauderdale, Oakbridge, Ravenswood Estates, Avon Isles, Griffin Park, and more.Top Crimes in Dania Beach, FL
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the most common arrests in Dania Beach in a single recent year included:
- Simple Assault - 134
- Drug Crimes - 118
- Aggravated Assault - 65
- Larceny/Theft - 50
- DUI - 24
There are also hundreds of arrests categorized as “miscellaneous,” as well as a smattering of robberies, homicides, weapons violations, vandalism charges, and white collar offenses like fraud, counterfeit/forgery, and embezzlement.
Those numbers may not sound like a lot compared to larger Broward cities like Fort Lauderdale, but it’s when adjusted for population that the figures draw a starker picture.
The numbers are also noteworthy for the high number of drug arrests, despite the fact that prosecution of marijuana possession offenses - once No. 1 for drug arrests - has not happened in Broward County since 2017. Yet the current rate of drug arrests is 1.5 times higher in Dania Beach than in Fort Lauderdale. Dania Beach criminal defense lawyers have noted most of these are either for trafficking-level offenses with cannabis (F.S. 893.135) or arrests for other substances like cocaine and illegal prescription narcotics. Authorities have initiated several drug stings in Dania Beach in recent years, including one in 2021 that escalated to a shoot-out outside Bass Pro Shops.Hiring a Dania Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer
At The Ansara Law Firm, our team has been successfully representing defendants in Dania Beach criminal cases for more than two decades. We’re staunchly committed to safeguarding the rights and interests of clients facing a wide range of criminal charges.
It’s worth noting that a community with higher crime rates is likely to have public defenders who are stretched increasingly thin. And contrary to common belief, defendants aren’t entitled to a free government defense lawyer for every criminal case. That’s only if the court deems you unable to pay AND the prosecutor is not pursuing jail time. Otherwise, you’re on your own - unless you hire a private Dania Beach criminal defense lawyer.
An experienced defense attorney will provide:
- Adequate time and legal expertise devoted specifically to your case, improving opportunities for the best possible outcome.
- Thorough review of all the evidence - including that which prosecutors may be overlooking.
- Protection of your Constitutional rights at every stage of the proceedings.
- Superior persuasion and negotiation skills, which are critical to landing advantageous plea deals.
- Trial preparedness. Most criminal cases don't go to trial, but your Dania Beach defense lawyer should always be well-prepared for the possibility.
- Access to top-tier expert witnesses who can convincingly argue key points in your favor.
If the evidence against you is substantial, but you’re a first-time offender facing a non-violent misdemeanor or low-level felony, there are a number of diversion programs available through the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County. An attorney can help you make a strong case for your eligibility into such a program, as well as help you identify one that’s realistic and fair. Some of the diversion programs include:
- The Misdemeanor Diversion Program. The defendant takes responsibility, completes certain rehabilitative actions (as overseen by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Probation department), and the case is diverted from the court system. Successfully complete it, and you avoid a criminal conviction. You might even be eligible to have the offense sealed or expunged from public records.
- Felony Pre-Trial Intervention. First-time felony offenders facing non-violent, third-degree charges may be allowed to divert their case from the trial court process and into a rehabilitative program overseen by the Florida Department of Corrections.
- OIC of South Florida Economic Empowerment Today Pre-Trial Diversion. Eligible persons facing a non-violent third-degree felony but has prior convictions (up to 3 misdemeanors, 2 felonies) are given an opportunity to complete technical training to help them acquire a skill/trade to find gainful employment. Certificates include things like warehouse logistics, culinary/food service operations, supply chain operations, information technology, health and medical, transportation and moving material, and general safety/construction.
- Court to College Pre-Trial Diversion Program. Similar to the technical training, but must have victim approval, complete 12 months of training through the Broward College Diversion Program, and then have their charges nolle prossed upon successful completion.
- Felony Mental Health Pre-Trial Diversion Program. Connects defendants facing second- or third-degree felonies (some exceptions) with diagnosed mental illness with appropriate mental health treatment in the community (out of jail). After completing a 12- to 18-month program, their pending charges will be dismissed by the court.
There are also programs for juveniles, veterans, programs to regain your driver’s license, and civil citation diversion programs.
If you’re arrested in Dania Beach, the criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm will provide top quality legal representation and fight for the outcome most in your favor.
If you have been arrested in Dania Beach and need to secure immediate legal representation, call The Ansara Law Firm in Broward County at (954) 761-4011.