If you’re arrested in Delray Beach, you may be facing distressing prospects like jail or prison time, job loss, damaged relationships, painful fines, a driver’s license suspension, and blemishes on your permanent record that could have a sizable impact on your future.
The seasoned Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers at the Ansara Law Firm team are committed to safeguarding the rights of the accused and fighting for the best possible outcome for our clients. Whether it's DUI, domestic violence, gun crime, probation violation, or some other offense, our lawyers have effective legal strategies to help minimize the negative impact to your life at every phase in the criminal legal process.
No criminal attorney in Florida can promise charge dismissal or acquittal (though that's always a goal when possible). But even when the evidence is heavily stacked against you, an experienced defense lawyer knows there are almost always ways to mitigate the fallout.
Delray Beach is a small, art-centered community of nearly 70,000 residents, known for its bohemian history, boutique art galleries, lush gardens and nature preserves, and arguably one of the best beaches in the southeastern U.S. It’s visited by more than 3 million tourists a year, including many northerners seeking sunnier winter climes.
It’s a diverse place, with a broad mix of racial and ethnic residents - more than a quarter of whom are foreign born.
Popular destinations in the city include the Sandoway Discovery Center, the Delray Beach Market, the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, and Atlantic Avenue (aka “The Avenue,” which is the epicenter of downtown).Delray Beach Florida Crime Statistics
For all its bright spots, Delray Beach does unfortunately also have a higher-than-average crime rate. Notable incidents in recent years including armed robberies, drug offenses, white collar scams, and domestic violence.
In a single recent year, Delray Beach police reported:
- 1,459 total adult arrests
- 79 juvenile arrests
Those arrests included:
- 1 murder
- 8 sex offenses
- 19 robberies
- 68 aggravated assaults
- 44 burglaries
- 203 larcenies
- 30 motor vehicle thefts
- 201 simple assaults
- 316 drug offenses
- 47 white collar offenses (fraud, forgery/counterfeit, embezzlement etc.)
- 117 DUIs
- 39 weapons violations
With respect to Delray Beach domestic violence offenses, there are roughly 300/year. Most of those are simple assaults, but there are also dozens of aggravated assault domestic violence cases, as well as those stemming from threats and intimidation.
That’s not an exhaustive list of all crimes committed in Delray Beach. These only reflect arrests. That means law enforcement received the report (or witnessed the offense), responded, investigated, obtained probable cause, and booked the defendant on specific charges. Keep in mind the police department only has a clearance rate of 23% of reported crimes, meaning fewer than a quarter of crimes reported solved.
That said, Delray Beach police are increasingly relying on neighborhood surveillance cameras and digital apps to help them investigate reported crimes. This is something individuals should be aware of if they are accused of committing a crime.
Also, just because an arrest happens doesn’t mean that’s the end of the story. Skilled criminal defense attorneys may have success in persuading prosecutors not to officially file the charges or to reduce them to something less serious. Even if they don’t, the burden of proof is still on them to show guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There are often plenty of strategies an experienced defense lawyer can employ to successfully push back against the allegations.
Another thing that makes this community somewhat unique with respect to our criminal landscape here in Delray Beach: Our older folks.Enhanced Penalties for Florida Crimes Against the Elderly
It’s true that the over-65 population is expected to increase nearly 50 percent nationally between 2022 and 2050. But Delray Beach is unique in that currently, nearly 28% of the population is over the age of 65. That’s well above the national average of 15% and Florida’s 19%.
Older people are vulnerable to certain types of crimes - namely fraud, scams, purse snatching, and burglary. Purse snatching might not seem super serious, but per F.S. 812.131, it’s still a third-degree felony that carries a 5-year prison term. That’s true even if there was no gun and no one got hurt. Where they are victims of physical violence or injury (assault, DUI, domestic violence, etc.), their health outcomes could be worse - which means the charges are more serious.
Charges for many offenses are enhanced simply by virtue of the fact that the victim was 65 or older. For example, F.S. 784.011 makes assault a second-degree misdemeanor, meaning it’s possible the most jail time you’ll get is 60 days. However, per F.S. 748.08, an assault on a person aged 65+ is a first-degree misdemeanor, meaning you’ll face up to 1 year in jail. This is true whether or not the defendant was aware of the alleged victim’s exact age. If you commit an aggravated assault on a person over the age of 65 (usually due to having a firearm), it’s a third-degree felony for which you have to serve at least 3 years in prison, maybe up to 5 years.
Furthermore, the elderly are more likely to report their victimization to police than younger crime targets. This could be at least part of the reason we see more reported crimes in areas with more older residents.
These offenses - and others - can often be successfully fought or downgraded with the help of experienced Delray Beach Florida criminal defense lawyers.
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.