Palm Beach Gardens
Palm Beach Gardens is a smaller Florida coastal city in the southern section of Palm Beach County, north of Miami and home to about 60,000 people. It’s probably best known for being headquarters of Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA), as well as its proximity to beaches, sports bars and high-end shopping at The Gardens Mall.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our Palm Beach Gardens criminal defense lawyers know that while upper crust enclaves like these typically don’t have a reputation for high crime, they often do have a law enforcement presence that’s hypervigilant. Anyone arrested in Palm Beach Gardens will need a strong criminal defense to protect their rights and minimize the impact of the accusations on their lives.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there are an estimated 1,400 arrests in Palm Beach Gardens every year. Here’s the offense breakdown:
- DUI - 17%
- Theft - 12%
- Drug arrests - 11%
- Simple assault - 8%
- Aggravated assault - 2%
- White collar crimes (fraud, embezzlement, etc.) - 2%
- Weapons violations - 1.8%
- Burglary - 1.5%
A significant number of violent crimes were classified as incidents of domestic violence. In a single recent year, domestic violence was cited in:
- 2 rapes
- 8 aggravated assaults
- 90 simple assaults
- 4 stalking offenses
The exact number of Palm Beach Gardens arrests for murder, rape, and non-forcible sex offenses varies from year-to-year, but usually account for less than 1 percent of all criminal charges.
As longtime South Florida criminal defense attorneys, The Ansara Law Firm has extensive experience and a history of success in cases like these, particularly those involving domestic violence, DUI, and drug arrests, and weapons offenses.Palm Beach Gardens Domestic Violence
If you’re arrested for domestic violence in Palm Beach Gardens, you want to make sure you’re ready to respond with a vigorous defense. So much is at stake in these cases. Depending on the exact charges, you may be at risk of losing: Your physical freedom, your reputation, your job, custody of your kids, your personal relationships, your immigration residency status, your financial security, your Second Amendment rights - and more.
Domestic violence defense strategies must be carefully considered. A defendant should never agree to a Palm Beach Gardens domestic violence plea deal unless they have first weighed every potential implication and alternative with a defense attorney.
Some of the more successful domestic violence defenses include presenting evidence of:
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- Mutual confrontation
- Lacking credibility of accuser
- Absence of reported injuries
Understand that just because an accuser refuses to testify does not mean you’re in the clear. Uncooperative accusers are commonplace in domestic violence cases, and South Florida prosecutors have found their way around it by successfully arguing to allow hearsay as evidence.
Hearsay doesn’t typically meet the stringent standards for evidence in a criminal case because it involves a statement made by one person to another made outside of court. There are some exceptions though, and they’re increasingly used in Palm Beach Gardens domestic violence cases. There’s the so-called “state of mind” exception.
For example, in a 1985 domestic violence case before the Florida Supreme Court, justices ruled that a murder victim’s hearsay statements were allowed as a means for prosecutors to refute the defendant’s claim that the two had an otherwise peaceful relationship and the estranged wife’s fatal injuries were an accident.
There’s also the “excited utterance” hearsay exception. This is allowed sometimes if a person makes a statement in the middle of a startling or stressful event. It’s usually something said right after the incident, though the exception has been successfully used for statements made up to 24 hours later.
As experienced Palm Beach domestic violence defense attorneys, we fight tirelessly to protect our client’s civil rights and formulate effective legal strategies to have the charges dismissed or reduced.Palm Beach Gardens DUI
If you’re arrested for DUI in Palm Beach Gardens, your first phone call should be to a DUI defense attorney.
We answer a lot of questions related to these kinds of cases in our Florida DUI FAQ section, but to go over a few of the basics:
- You do not have to be “blind drunk” to be arrested for DUI in Palm Beach Gardens. F.S. 316.193 allows an adult to be charged with driving under the influence if your blood-alcohol concentration is at 0.08% or higher OR if that person appears to be noticeably impaired by either drugs or alcohol. (Drugs do not have to be illicit to count.) They’ll be looking for evidence of bloodshot eyes, flushed face, slurred words, poor balance, etc. If you’re under 21, there’s a zero-tolerance law – F.S. 322.2616 – that allows a DUI charge for a blood-alcohol concentration as little as 0.02%.
- Florida DUI penalties are stiff. Let’s say it’s your first offense and your blood-alcohol level is somewhere between 0.08% and 0.15%. You’re looking at: A fine between $500 and $1,000, up to 6 months in jail, and a minimum 50 hours of community service. Not to mention the consequences this could have for work/job prospects, education opportunities, child custody, etc. because of revoked driving privileges. A DUI can never be expunged. (And if you hurt someone in a drunk driving accident, they can go after you for punitive damages – triple their action damages – in civil court.)
- Out-of-state residents can face more complications. A fair number of DUI arrests in Palm Beach Gardens involve tourists. Ideally, your defense lawyer will fight for you to avoid a conviction entirely. Where that may not be possible, we can argue to have the charges reduced to something like reckless driving. This is especially important for non-residents because a DUI conviction often involves probation, monitoring, etc. All of that has to be transferred over to your local jurisdiction, which can create some headaches. Working with an experienced DUI defense lawyer is the best way to help minimize some of these impacts.
No matter what charges you’re facing, our Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers will be tenacious in defending your rights and best interests.
Contact the Palm Beach Gardens Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011.