Homeless Targeted for Nuisance Crimes in Miami
Many states are trying to avoid jailing people for minor offenses, as the results of such actions can determine the role played by that person for the rest of his/her life. However, Miami Beach sees this differently and has been taking steps to hire a prosecutor to pursue anyone who is caught violating the city’s laws. This all came about when city officials discovered that the state attorney’s office in Miami-Dade had been dropping cases for offenses such as drinking alcohol in a public place and being present in a park after the set hours.
It seems that the prosecutor has been targeting the homeless, particularly in relation to crimes related to alcohol use. In the past it has been more common to charge tourists and visitors to the county, not the permanent resident homeless population. Last year, statistics indicated that of the 212 arrests made, only 12 were tourists while the remainder were from the homeless community. Most were for drinking alcohol offences and some were for urinating in a public place and illegally camping in areas that are typically restricted, like the beach or a public park. A whopping 40 percent of arrests ended up with the defendant spending time in jail, while other arrests were issued with a stay away order, meaning the defendant couldn’t return to the place s/he was arrested for a stated time period.
A representative for Miami Beach’s Committee on the Homeless sees this as an attack on the homeless and not an attack on crime. Other people voicing concerns about these types of arrests see it as an attack on people who are suffering from poverty and prosecuting the homeless is just an excuse to get them off the streets of Miami for a while.
The claim from the city’s police department is that it isn’t targeting the homeless .and each prosecution is scrutinized by the city prosecutor who is in charge of any cases that involve criminal violations of a municipal ordinance. If there is an extra state charge with the violation of the municipal ordinance, the state attorney’s office will go ahead with a prosecution. The city of Miami as a whole considers that any action law enforcers take is in the interests of the safety and well-being of its citizens. It takes the whole matter of violating a municipal criminal ordinance seriously by warning anyone whether s/he is a tourist or homeless person of the offense that has been committed well before an arrest takes place.
If you, or someone you know, has been arrested for a minor offense in Miami and could face a jail term, you should ensure you have an attorney defending your case who will look at your side of the story. Law enforcers in Miami don’t always get it right. An experienced Miami criminal defense attorney may be able to get your penalty reduced or thrown out if you have been charged for a municipal criminal ordinance you did not commit. Contact Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq., at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.