Miami-Dade County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Miami-Dade County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Miami-Dade County.
Sentencing in Miami-Dade County
In Miami-Dade County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Mandatory Appearances in Miami-Dade County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Miami-Dade County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Miami-Dade County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
In a jury trial in Miami-Dade County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Who is the prosecutor for Miami-Dade County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Miami-Dade County criminal cases will either be a representative of Miami-Dade County or a representative from Florida. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Where can I get help for my Miami-Dade County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Miami-Dade County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
Arraignments in Miami-Dade County
During an arraignment in Miami-Dade County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Miami-Dade County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Miami-Dade County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Miami-Dade County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Miami-Dade County will take place at the Miami-Dade County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Miami-Dade County Criminal Court Locations.
Miami-Dade County Criminal Court Locations
Miami-Dade County Caleb Center Office
Address: 5400 NW 22nd Avenue, Suite 103, Miami, FL 33142
Miami-Dade County Civil Court
Address: 73 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130
Miami-Dade County Coral Gables District Court
Address: 3100 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Miami-Dade County Criminal Court
Address: 1351 NW 12th Street, Miami, FL 33125
Miami-Dade County Family Court
Address: 175 NW 1st Avenue, Miami, FL 33128
Miami-Dade County Hialeah District Court
Address: 11 East 6th Street, Hialeah, FL 33010
Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court
Address: 3300 NW 27th Avenue, Suite 1000, Miami, FL 33142
Miami-Dade County Miami Beach District Court
Address: 1130 Washington Avenue, Suite 200, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Miami-Dade County North Dade Justice Center
Address: 15555 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100, Miami, FL 33160
Miami-Dade County South Dade Justice Center
Address: 10710 SW 211th Street, Suite 1200, Miami, FL 33189
Miami-Dade County Sweetwater County Court
Address: 500 SW 109th Avenue, Miami, FL 33174
Miami-Dade County Traffic Court
Address: 1351 NW 12th Street, Miami, FL 33125