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Crime Rate Drops in Miami-Dade County

Posted on February 01, 2010 3:00 AM EST

A statistical report issued by Miami-Dade County revealed a drop in violent crimes from 2009 as compared with 2008. The number murders, armed robberies, sexual battery and aggravated assault and battery cases showed a significant decline. Mayor Alvarez and other public officials credited the improvement to the increased efforts by local law enforcement authorities. Law enforcement claims to be targeting violent criminals and the crimes they commit. The number of murders committed in Miami-Dade County dropped from 97 in 2008 to 82 in 2009. While there is an improvement from last year to this year, records revealed that there were 64 murders in 2005. That number may be an aberration. Forcible sex offenses, along with domestic violence and child abuse cases have also been on the decline according to the report. Miami criminal defense law firms still remain busy defending clients both in state and federal court not necessarily charged with violent offenses.

While the number of violent crimes may have decreased year over year, the number fraud crimes including Medicare fraud and mortgage fraud have been on the rise. Additionally, marijuana and cocaine trafficking arrests have not decreased as significantly as the violent offenses. Other non-violent crimes such dwelling burglaries, grand thefts, stolen motor vehicles have declined slightly from the previous year. Is local law enforcement responsible for the decline in violent crime? On the whole crime nationwide is down year over year. One would never guess the results of this survey. The Miami-Dade Courthouse is a crowded as ever with lines of defendants standing in lines that are dozens of people long.

As a Miami criminal attorney, the reduction in criminal cases is not readily evident. All types of criminal offenses continue to appear in state and federal criminal court. Credit card fraud and Medicare fraud arrests are being made on a weekly basis according to local news reports. Of course, the news continues to cover the numerous schemes to defraud that keep popping up throughout South Florida. While violent crimes appear to be down, crimes involving fraud seem to be on the rise. The increase in the number of fraud crimes probably has something to do with the current economy that is choking off income from the citizens of Miami and South Florida.

Also noticeable are the number arrests regarding drug trafficking cases. Marijuana trafficking and "grow house" operations remain prevalent from Miami to Tampa. Also on the rise appears to be narcotics trafficking cases where pills are involved. Oxycodone trafficking and ecstasy trafficking keep appearing on the desks of local prosecutors. Despite the draconian minimum mandatory sentences that accompany these type of trafficking cases, people are willing to engage in these enterprises in an effort to make a living or supplement their income. As the economy mends and unemployment declines, it remains to be seen if the number of non-violent fraud and narcotics cases decline in conjunction with the recent decline in violent crimes.

Crime Drops in Unincorporated Miami-Dade County, The Miami Herald, January 27, 2010.
Categories: In General