In the more than two decades serving as a top criminal defense law firm in Fort Lauderdale, our passion for this work - and community - has only grown stronger.
We firmly believe in the importance of providing zealous legal representation to those facing criminal charges here in Fort Lauderdale - a city we love and call home. This practice is not just a profession; it’s a calling to protect the rights and well-being of those who live, work, and visit our city.About Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is the largest of the 31 cities in Broward County, with 180,000 residents, 165 miles of scenic inland waterways (the reason it’s called, “the Venice of America), and more than 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. It’s where the whole concept of “spring break” first started - in 1960. It has everything from beautiful beaches to a vibrant downtown and a broad range of entertainment, education, and economic opportunities.
The city is home to:
- Many institutes of higher learning. Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University, and a number of other private universities and technical colleges.
- A thriving cruise line industry. Some 4 million passengers annually are ferried in/out of Port Everglades - which is the No. 3 busiest cruise port in the world.
- A boater’s paradise. With some 50,000 boats & yachts docked here, Fort Lauderdale is home to the world’s largest in-water boat show. It’s also known as the Yacht Capital of the World.
- A booming tourism industry. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport serves an estimated 22 million passengers annually.
But with all of these positives, the city also has its fair share of criminal activity - much like any urban center, particularly one that’s an international destination. Law enforcement in the community typically falls to either the Fort Lauderdale Police Department or the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. (Incidents at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport are handled by the BSO, as well as federal authorities with the FBI, CBP, DHS, and TSA.)Crime in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, like many cities, experiences fluctuations in crime rates, which can be influenced by a myriad of factors, including law enforcement efforts, socioeconomic conditions, and changes in local demographics.
That said, certain crimes tend to be more common here than others. These include:
- Property crimes. Offenses like burglary, theft, and auto theft have historically been a significant concern in Fort Lauderdale. Increased law enforcement efforts in recent years have led to a slight decline in these types of crime, according to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Between 2014 and 2021, there’s been a 64 percent decrease in residential burglaries, a 34 percent decline in vehicle thefts, a 28 percent drop in vehicle burglaries, and 1 percent decrease in overall larceny crimes - all this despite a rising population.
- Drug-related offenses. Although Broward prosecutors announced a few years ago that they would no longer pursue criminal cases for marijuana possession of less than 20 grams (accounting for an 84 percent drop in Fort Lauderdale drug arrests from 2014 to 2021), that doesn’t mean drug-related crimes are no longer charged. Fort Lauderdale’s proximity to major drug trafficking routes mean there are occasional spikes in arrests and prosecutions for drug-related crimes and offenses. The drug arrests that are happening now are mostly for higher-level offenses, such as manufacturing, selling, or distribution of Schedule I & Schedule II illicit substances and prescription narcotics.
- Firearm-related offenses. Florida has a lot of guns. Many of them are perfectly legal. But depending on how they’re used, where they’re taken, or who owns them, they can be the catalyst for a criminal charge or an enhancement. Offenses include using a firearm in commission of a crime, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, and possessing an illegal firearm (machine guns, or amor-piercing bullets, short-barrelled rifles or shotguns.) However, it’s not expected there will be many future prosecutions for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit; a law that went into effect July 1, 2023 allows permitless carry. [It might, however, lead to an uptick in violent crime. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies found that other states that passed similar laws reported a 10-15 percent increase in violent crimes like robbery, assault, battery, and domestic violence in the decade that followed.]
- White collar crimes. Fort Lauderdale is known for its thriving business community, influx of tourists, and many older retirees. All of these are vulnerable to white collar crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement, forgery, credit card fraud, and identity theft.
As Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers, our role is to provide legal representation to individuals facing criminal charges - regardless of the charge. At The Ansara Law Firm, I work diligently to ensure that my clients’ rights are protected, that they are fairly treated throughout the legal process, and that they receive the best possible defense tailored to their unique circumstances.
If you were recently arrested in Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade Counties - or are concerned for a loved one facing criminal charges - immediately call The Ansara Law Firm at (945) 761-4011 or contact us online for the highest quality criminal defense representation in Southeast Florida.