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Miami criminal cases are on the decline

Posted on September 09, 2009 9:00 AM EST

The City of Miami Police Department recently released the final criminal statistics for the first half of 2009. According to a report sent by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to the FBI, violent crime went down 15 percent, while property crimes went down 14 percent. In total, crimes in Miami were down a total of 15 percent. While a decrease in crime is good for the general public and for Miami as a whole, most Miami criminal lawyers feel the economic effects of such a downturn. When the number of criminal cases are on the decline and more and more Miami attorneys are turning to criminal law to pay their bills, there are less and less state and federal cases to go around.

The reduction in Miami criminal cases is surprising in light of the economic difficulties our community is facing. A number of crimes in Miami are on the decline. Examples of cases on the decline include homicides, burglary, sexual battery, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny and auto theft. However, other offenses such as drug trafficking (i.e. cocaine trafficking and marijuana trafficking) and fraud (credit card fraud, mortgage fraud and Medicare fraud) appear to be on the rise. The economic conditions in Miami lead individuals to find illegal ways to make up for lost income as the unemployment rate soars to nearly 10 percent.

An example of the decrease in violent crimes is the reduction in the number of homicides in Miami. In 1980, there were 220 murders within a population of 335,000 residents. In 2008, there were only 63 murders within a population of 410,000. In 1991, 8,452 people in Miami were the victims of a robbery. In 2008, only 2,415 people were the victims of a robbery. In 1989, there were 15,350 burglary cases. In 2008, only 4,941 burglary cases were reported in Miami. Based on the calculations submitted in the FDLE report, there has been a 30 percent decline in crime over the past eight years.

The statistics indicate that the number of crimes committed in the Miami and South Florida area are on the decline. A large part of the reason for the decline in crime has been the efforts of local law enforcement officers. While the decline in crime positively impacts the reputation of Miami and Miami Beach, which in turn boosts the economy as tourism picks up, other businesses are negatively impacted. Any Miami criminal defense lawyer will tell you that their Miami criminal law practice suffers from a reduction in crime.

Violent Crime Has Declined, The Miami Herald, September 9, 2009.
Categories: In General