Palm Beach County, Florida boasts an ever-growing population, with warm temperatures, pristine beaches, and an array of family-friendly neighborhoods among the many reasons for expansion. Floridians and out-of-staters alike are starting to recognize Palm Beach County as its own place rather than dismissing the county as part of the “Greater Miami Area.” With prominent cities such as Wellington (home of the equestrian center), Palm Beach Island (home of the President of the United States), and Boca Raton (location of the prestigious Boca Raton Resort and Club), Palm Beach County certainly has its own identity.
What many people don’t realize is that Palm Beach County’s unique identity extends beyond the tourism, hospitality and service industries, and into the fields of law and medicine. Today, many inhabitants and visitors of Palm Beach County continue to seek legal and medical services in the “Greater Miami Area” rather than Palm Beach County. There is still an assumption that professionals from bigger areas of South Florida (i.e. Miami-Dade and Broward) are either more reputable or more affordable. Realistically, there is no correlation between county and competence; nor is there a correlation between county and price.
If you are charged with a crime in Palm Beach County, where should you hire a lawyer? Although many out-of-county attorneys are excellent in any jurisdiction, here are five reasons why you should consider a local criminal defense lawyer:
1. Your Palm Beach County criminal defense lawyer will likely be your lawyer in court. While it would seem obvious that the lawyer or firm you hire would be the one to attend your court proceedings, it is actually common for an out-of-county attorney to out-source court hearings to a “coverage attorney” in order to avoid making the drive to Palm Beach County. In most circumstances, this is perfectly legal, ethical and understandable. However, the client may not feel comfortable with this. To increase your chances of getting what (and who) you signed up for, look for a law firm with offices in Palm Beach County.
2. Knowledge of local policies. Florida law provides the definition of each criminal offense and how each criminal offense should be punished. However, each prosecuting agency has the discretion to implement policies regarding standard offers, diversion programs, and what to consider as mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Palm Beach County’s main prosecuting agency is the Office of the State Attorney, 15th Judicial Circuit. Unlike some other prosecuting agencies, the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office has a DUI diversion program, deferred prosecution agreements, and other forms of pre-trial diversion programs that could serve to reduce or eliminate your criminal charges. Without knowledge of these opportunities, you may miss out on a beneficial resolution to your case
3. Knowledge of personalities. We are all human. This includes lawyers, judges, and prosecutors. Even though legal professionals are all bound by the same laws and rules of ethics, within these bounds exist different personalities and different ways of viewing cases. A local lawyer should know most judges and prosecutors through frequent interaction. Understanding temperament, tendencies and patterns can help a lawyer decide on strategy for negotiation and trial.
4. Practical Knowledge. The probable cause affidavit for a crime alleged to have occurred in Palm Beach County could contain details about intersections, street names, landmarks, and business entities within the County. A lawyer from Palm Beach County might already be familiar with the people, businesses and locations mentioned. This practical and personal knowledge may lead to more intricate questioning of witnesses and in-depth analysis of their statements.
5.. Reputation. A Palm Beach County criminal defense lawyer probably spends most of her time at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. Frequenting the PBC courthouses in downtown West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Belle Glade, an experienced Palm Beach County lawyer has already shown the other regular participants of the system (judges, prosecutors, clerks, police officers, and even the courtroom audience) her talent, knowledge and skill. She has likely gone to trial against some of the same prosecutors that might be currently assigned to your case. When a local lawyer has established a reputation of strength, capability, ethics and tenacity, courtroom personnel are more likely to take her requests seriously.
There are many more reasons why a local lawyer might be the right fit for you if you are facing criminal charges. We hope that the short list above inspires you to look further into the benefits of a Palm Beach County lawyer. One of the most important facets of an attorney-client relationship is trust. If you trust your lawyer, you will feel completely at ease and assist the attorney with information toward your representation.
Casanova Law is a criminal defense law firm in Wellington, Florida. Led by attorney Lourdes Casanova, our firm boasts hundreds of satisfied clients throughout the almost-five years the firm has been operating. Prior to establishing Casanova Law, Attorney Casanova was a prosecutor for the Office of the State Attorney, 15th Judicial Circuit. Through her experience as a former prosecutor and her subsequent years of experience in private practice, attorney Casanova provides superior representation in all types of criminal cases, including DUI, Battery, Assault, Theft, Drug Possession, Criminal Mischief, Reckless Driving, Driving Without a License, and Driving While License Suspended. Should you decide to hire a Palm Beach County lawyer for your criminal charge, consider contacting Casanova Law. If you need a Wellington Immigration Attorney contact us today.