Stretching along some 2,000 miles of Southeast Florida’s Atlantic seaboard and packed with its diverse population of 3 million, Miami-Dade County is notorious for its gorgeous beaches, glamorous nightlife, and profusion of criminal activity.
As a longtime Miami-Dade criminal defense attorney, I’ve seen how much lives can change when they’re catching heat from local authorities. At the Ansara Law Firm, we are committed to vigorously defending the rights and best interests of clients against criminal accusations that threaten to upend their life.Shattering the Illusion of Glamour in Miami-Dade Criminal Justice System
Miami-Dade is the setting of quintessential Hollywood crime and court dramas, such as “Scarface,” “Miami Vice,” “CSI: Miami,” “Burn Notice,” “Bad Boys,” “Dexter,” “Cocaine Cowboys,” and more. Legendary mob crime boss Al Capone, the original inspiration for the movie “Scarface,” owned a beach house here, where he later died. The Richard E. Gerstein Justice Center, where misdemeanor and traffic cases are heard, is named after the Miami-Dade County prosecutor who uncovered the link between Watergate and the Nixon administration. So copious and compelling are the police beat stories in this community, a reporter for the The Miami Herald once won a Pulitzer Prize for covering them.
If you watch enough crime movies and shows, you might be under the impression that charges can be dropped if police don’t recite your Miranda rights or that you’re automatically entitled to an appointed Miami criminal defense attorney for your case. We’ve seen defendants tank their own case by making erroneous assumptions like these. You cannot stake your entire future on flimsy interpretations of what you’ve seen on a few TV shows.
As a longtime Miami criminal defense attorney, I can tell you unequivocally that the reality of facing criminal charges in Miami-Dade County is the farthest thing from red carpet glitz. On any given day, some 4,200 people are holed up Miami-Dade detention facilities - either awaiting trial or serving sentences of 364 days or less. There’s nothing glamorous about being one of just tens of thousands accused of a serious crime in this county any given year. Police are often short-staffed, the courts are backlogged, and public defenders are swamped. Ultimately, this means mistakes get made, critical evidence gets overlooked, and defendants can end up serving much harsher sentences than they deserve. Sometimes, it can even result in innocent people being incarcerated.Why Hire a Private Miami Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney Miami who understands local processes, procedures, and power players is crucial to protecting your rights and fighting for the best possible outcomes.
There are some highly-skilled public defenders in the 11th Judicial Circuit, but they often have sky-high caseloads and won’t be able to dedicate the same time and effort to your case as a private defense attorney. That also assumes you’re even entitled to one. Contrary to popular misconception, public defenders are only appointed when you’re facing jail time, which means they often aren’t available if you’re charged with only misdemeanors, often weighed by the Miami County Court. (And don’t make the mistake of thinking misdemeanors can’t substantially impact your life; they can.) Also, the court will only appoint one to you if you’re deemed indigent, per F.S. 57.081.
At The Ansara Law Firm, we represent individuals from communities in Miami-Dade County, including:
As for the type of Florida criminal cases we take on, they run the gamut - and we have a successful track record to prove our skill across-the-board. These include:Gun possession at Miami International Airport criminal charges.
The Miami-International Airport is one of the busiest in the world, with approximately 60 percent of all international visitors traveling through it. It’s also one of the busiest domestic hubs. It’s patrolled by the Airport District of the Miami-Dade Police Department (though these duties are shifting to the county sheriff’s jurisdiction in 2025.) F.S. 790.06(12)(a)(14) bans anyone from carrying firearms inside the passenger terminal of an airport. Yet Miami-Dade International Airport, along with airports in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, is in the top 10 nationally for the most weapons seizures. In just one year, The Miami-Herald reported TSA seizes some 4,400 firearms from airport carryon bags nationally. Even if you didn’t mean to pack your piece, you could be facing anything from a 2nd degree misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony, which carries up to five years in prison.Domestic violence arrests.
Domestic violence accounts for about 15 percent of all violent crimes. In a single recent year in Miami-Dade, there were approximately 7,500 cases of domestic violence reported. Even if it’s charged as a misdemeanor, it could still mean up to 1 year in jail, 12 months of probation, a $1,000 fine, a 26-week batterer’s intervention course, community service requirements, firearm forfeiture, protective injunction, and a permanent record containing a violent offense that can never be sealed or expunged. Minimizing the chances of conviction - even if it’s “just” a misdemeanor - will be pivotal for your future.White collar crimes.
These include embezzlement, extortion, forgery, credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, healthcare fraud, and identity theft. The Miami Dade has an Organized Crime Bureau, divided into two sections: Economics & Specialized Investigations and the Narcotics Section. Economics Investigations are those primarily dealing with financial, white collar crimes. Although it depends somewhat on the type, method, and amount of theft, white collar crimes are often felony offenses. Having a criminal defense lawyer is strongly recommended.Organized crime.
In the Specialized Investigations unit, police investigate things like illegal lotteries, racketeering, cargo theft, bookmaking, money laundering, and human trafficking. Depending on whether the network or activity stretched beyond state borders, can be federal offenses too, which means you might be facing even harsher penalties.Homicide.
This includes traffic homicides (such as DUI, hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter, etc.), as well as murder connected to gangs, domestic violence, illegal drug sales, etc.Robbery.
Nearly 1,000 robberies are reported in Miami-Dade annually, and the police department has an entire unit dedicated to investigating them. They use the Robbery Clearinghouse, which collects and analyzes robbery-related information in the region to identify patterns and narrow down suspects. That doesn’t mean they always get it right - or that you should be lax about your defense. Robbery is a serious, 2nd-degree felony. In the best circumstances, you’re facing a maximum 15-year sentence. If you commit robbery while carrying a weapon or entering someone’s home or if you commit carjacking suddenly you’re facing double that. Do not attempt to fight these charges without a highly-skilled Miami criminal defense attorney.
This is just a snapshot of the sorts of cases we cover. If you have been arrested in Miami-Dade County, whether you’re a resident or someone who was just passing through, we can help you review your legal options and determine the next best step.
If you have been arrested in Miami-Dade County and need to secure immediate legal representation, call The Ansara Law Firm in Broward County at (954) 761-4011.