Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, situated on a barrier island east of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. Early settlers called it a “veritable paradise” – a description that many would say is still apt today.
It has a year-round population of just north of 9,000, but it’s mostly known for some of its more famous (and infamous) residents. Forbes Magazine reports dozens of billionaires have properties on the island. Estates along “Billionaire’s Row” include the Gilded Age mansion of a railroad tycoon, Mar-A-Lago, the so-called “Winter White House,” and plans for “the most expensive home in the world,” a $1 billion property for the CEO of Citadel.
The main drag, Worth Avenue, is known for its ritzy art galleries, upscale restaurants, and boutique shops. There are also dozens of hotels - from mid-scale, family-friendly spots to posh spots that routinely welcome the famous and foreign dignitaries. The island also has nearly 50 miles of pristine beaches.
But the fact that Palm Beach is one of the wealthiest places in the world means law enforcement may be particularly hypervigilant in stamping out any criminal elements - particularly those involving theft, DUI, and weapons offenses. Our dedicated criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly and skillfully to defend our client’s rights. No defense attorney can make promises about how the case will turn out, but hiring an experienced one at the outset has been proven time and again to boost the odds of a better outcome for defendants.Crime in Palm Beach
The Palm Beach County Police Department is responsible for law enforcement on the island (though the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction as well). According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there are roughly 775 arrests in Palm Beach each year.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our criminal defense attorneys provide representation for individuals accused of some of the most common offenses in Palm Beach, which include:Hiring a Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes we see defendants make in Palm Beach criminal cases is assuming their first priority after an arrest is anything other than hiring a criminal defense lawyer. This stems from a few common misconceptions, including:
- They’ll be appointed a lawyer.
- The truth of their innocence will be enough to resolve the issue.
- They’ll be able to talk their own way out of trouble.
Let’s start with the idea that everyone is entitled to be appointed a criminal defense attorney if they’re accused of a crime. The reality is this only applies if one is:
- Indigent (as determined by the court, per Rule 3.111 of Florida Criminal Procedure) AND
- Facing possible jail time.
There are only a few slim exceptions. For instance, sometimes prosecutors will decide not to pursue imprisonment after a case has been pending a while, after a public defender has already been appointed and has spent time/resources on preparing a case. The Florida Supreme Court ruled in the 1994 case of Florida v. Ull that discharging the public defender at that stage can leave the defendant in a worse position than if they never had a defense lawyer at all. These defendants can argue to block removal of their public defender. But such circumstances are rare - particularly in the Town of Palm Beach, where few defendants are going to qualify as indigent in the first place.
As for the notion that “the truth will set you free,” that’s only true in a perfect world. Within our criminal justice system, it comes down to what can and cannot be proven. This is directly related to the truth, but no defendant should rely on that fact alone. What also matters is the skill of your attorney, who can play a pivotal role in what evidence the judge/jury ultimately considers.
Similarly, it’s unwise for any defendant to presume they can talk their way out of a criminal case. For one thing, talking to police in general - especially without a lawyer - is a bad idea if you’re hoping to minimize the risk of a conviction. Secondly, it’s rare that defendants have a clear understanding of state statutes, let alone the strategies and tactics used by police and prosecutors to meet their proof burden. Your odds of a favorable outcome are much greater when you let a criminal defense lawyer do the talking for you.
When you hire an experienced Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from the very beginning, you’ll have a better understanding of your rights, the charges you’re facing, and the potential legal strategies we can employ to help minimize the long-term impact this entire episode will have on your life. It can also help you avoid unwittingly making statements that could hurt your case.
At The Ansara Law Firm, we are firmly committed to defending our clients rights and fighting for the best possible outcomes.
Contact the Palm Beach County Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011.