The number of individuals requiring a Broward criminal defense has increased by 3.5 percent from 2010 to 2011.
Our Broward defense attorneys believe this is important to note, given the multitude of headlines indicating that crime rates across the state have increased.
And in Miami-Dade, where officials boasted a 0.3 percent drop in the crime rate, the county still has one of the highest crime rates in Florida, with nearly 5,500 crimes per every 100,000 people.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been tracking and publishing crime statistics since 1971. While a number of agencies have touted the decreasing rates, it’s actually relatively small. In fact, the crime rate in Florida reportedly dropped just 0.1 percent – that’s one-tenth of one-percent – from 770,518 in 2010 to 769,480 in 2011. That’s really not enough to tell us much of anything, despite the fact that FDLE officials say Florida is safer than it has been in the last 41 years.
The FDLE keeps track of everything from murders to motor vehicle thefts.
Overall in Florida, the crime rate per 100,000 people was 4,070.
It’s important to note that these rates are figured based on what city and county law enforcement agencies report to the state. That means that there is likely a great deal more crime that simply isn’t reported.
Secondly, these rates also have a lot to do with factors like how each law enforcement agency allocates its manpower and the methods used by each individual agency to categorize a crime. Police agencies have been known to instruct officers to classify crimes as a lesser offense, simply so that their city can be deemed safer.
When we look at violent crimes in Broward County, murders decreased from 63 to 59, and aggravated assaults were down from 4,958 to 4,743 and motor vehicle thefts were down from 4,717 to 4,502. Every other category, though – rape, robbery, burglary and larceny – were all up.
Another interesting point to make, however, is the clearance rate. In Broward, the clearance rate in both years was less than 20 percent. What does that mean? It means that police either made an arrest or closed a case just 20 percent of the time. This is not something law enforcement administrators like to hear.
So what does that mean for you?
Well, in order to get that clearance rate to increase, police agencies will encourage officers to close their cases – make an arrest, put someone behind bars so they can move on. But when they’re working with diminished resources, as many agencies are, this can lead to inevitable errors. That means that more people are likely to find themselves fighting Broward criminal charges that may not have been thoroughly investigated.
This is where it becomes so important to hire a qualified Broward criminal defense attorney, one who can closely study the facts of your case and help you determine the legal strategy that will lead to the best possible outcome for you.
If you are facing criminal charges in Broward or Palm Beach counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.