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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Compassionate Release - Non-Violent Offenses - Near End of Sentence Release - Close to Parole Date Discharge

Vigorous Defense of all Criminal Allegations in the Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County Cities of South Florida

Pursuing Justice on Your Behalf for Over Two Decades

Have you found yourself facing federal, state, or white-collar crime allegations in the state of Florida? It is a critical moment that requires the expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The law offices of Michael B. Cohen have been unwavering champions for the accused throughout Florida for more than two decades. We understand the anxiety and stress that criminal charges and convictions can provoke. That's why we commit ourselves to going the extra mile, tirelessly working to secure favorable outcomes for our clients. Place your trust in our criminal lawyers, who are dedicated to protecting your rights. 

Our practice is founded on the principles of transparency, compassion, and unwavering dedication. We understand that navigating the complexities of the legal system can be daunting, and we're here to guide you every step of the way. From the initial consultation to the final resolution of your case, our team of experienced lawyers will provide you with the support and information you need to make informed decisions about your defense strategy. 

Our track record speaks for itself, as we've successfully handled a wide range of criminal cases, earning the trust and satisfaction of our clients. We believe that everyone deserves a strong defense, and we are passionate about achieving the best possible results for each individual we represent.

We take pride in our commitment to meeting our clients' needs to the fullest extent. Michael B. Cohen, a seasoned Florida criminal lawyer and former federal prosecutor, has spent extensive years in the courtroom, tirelessly advocating for our clients. Our attorneys have also earned the respect and admiration of the Florida legal community.

Mr Cohen is listed annually in the annual editions of Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America as he was for the present year (2023). When you're ready to discuss your criminal defense matters with our dedicated team, don't hesitate to reach out. Call us now at 954.928.0059 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Take a moment to read the reviews below, and you'll understand why clients consistently turn to us for the best criminal defense in Florida.

Types of Cases we Handle

As a criminal lawyer, I have been advising and successfully defending cases for the citizens of South Florida with positive conclusions for close to forty years; since I left the prosecutorial side of the criminal law community and became a criminal defense attorney serving the general public.

A percentage of my successes as a federal criminal defense attorney include the following legal categories:

Federal Cases of varying types such as Federal Tax Evasion, which in many cases may arise from an underlying federal infraction.

The prosecution in a federal case will use complications based on alleged criminal tax issues found in your personal or business returns and other documents to try to reach a plea deal or have you flip on another suspect or defendant that they feel is of more value to them than you are. With my help, challenging this charge can ultimately work in your favor.

Federal Computer and Internet Crimes which include cases that cross state lines as well as mail fraud, wire fraud and a crime that’s been widespread in the current news cycle; computer hacking.

Federal Narcotics Charges: If a case involving drugs reaches a federal level it usually means that the charges are much more substantial and have the potential to impose much longer sentences for a guilty plea or verdict by a federal court than cases tried by the state which usually deals with cases of less significance. In these instances, it’s crucial to hire an attorney who has vast experience in the federal system.

Other areas of federal law that my skillful proficiency can assist with are Capital Crimes, Federal Weapons Charges, Contract Killing accusations and RICO charges as well as all other federal crimes alleged by the government relating to federal charges as a whole.

Expanses of federal law prosecuted under the focus of fraud with sub topics of mail, wire, tax fraud and mortgage fraud are all areas of federal law that my law office has had significant trial experience with. Most of these cases are settled by agreement between a client and the government through the process of a plea agreement. Through some of these cases the crimes of identity theft and money laundering has ascended and have been added as separate charges to these cases or have been argued on their own individually.

Additionally, The Law Office of Michael B. Cohen handles all criminal matters filed as state prosecutions throughout the State of Florida with an emphasis within the tri-county Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County areas.

Among these crimes are Drug & Alcohol Cases relating to the possession, manufacture and trafficking of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, as well as all other drugs that are considered recreational, or being handled with an implication of illegality.

Moreover, as a Criminal defense attorney serving Fort Lauderdale, I have successfully defended a multitude of cases relating to driving under the influence of alcohol and other crimes related to illegal usage of alcohol in state court.

Throughout the years, working on both sides of the legal spectrum, my law firm has secured many relationships with members of the prosecution and law enforcement community, as well as agents of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

These relationships can assist my advantage in and before trials begin, relating to significant cases which can be labeled high profile or may yield extensive sentences.

My firm is well-versed in the defense of homicide cases of all types, including Capital crimes where an unwanted outcome could be life-changing. In many of these cases I have been able to have charges reduced lessening the punishment of potentially many years behind bars to a much lower outcome.

I’ve also have handled many cases since becoming a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas where allegations of robbery and burglary were alleged by the state with an consummate rate of success on my client’s behalf.

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Extensive Trial Experience You can Depend on

Prior to my appointment as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, I began my legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County Florida where I learned the basic parameters of how to charge and ultimately based upon this experience defend a criminal case.

I have been privileged to be categorized as a Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer with an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating SM by Martindale-Hubbell®, a publication whose purpose has been to list reliable lawyers for over one-hundred-forty years and is recognized as a leader of the legal profession for this service. This honor is only maintained by a minimal proportion of all lawyers in the state of Florida.

As a criminal lawyer I have effectively defended clients throughout numerous criminal trials, including those where prosecution by the government has alleged charges of murder, fraud, drug trafficking and additional sophisticated federal cases in addition to charges by the state. If the unfortunate event arises where you, a friend or loved one is charged with allegations of a capital offense, felony or a less serious misdemeanor, my criminal defense law firm is committed to protecting your rights under Florida state laws as well as federal charges protected under the Constitution. To find out more about Peer Review Ratings™ listed by Martindale-Hubbell® click here for more information.

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Florida State Criminal Law

Over the course of my career as a criminal defense attorney primarily serving Fort Lauderdale I have represented clients throughout the state of Florida, focusing but not limited to the geographic locations of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. My representation has been administered throughout the complete scope of all criminal law processes, comprising: appeals, bail hearings, criminal investigations, extradition proceedings, grand jury investigations as well as jury trials, motion hearings, and petitions to vacate guilty pleas, among others. My experience as a criminal attorney is also proficient in matters regarding probation and sentencing hearings.

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A Strong Understanding of Criminal and Grand Jury Investigations

Criminal investigations can be independently initiated or may be introduced by a Grand Jury. A Grand Jury is principally used in federal prosecutions. In a Grand Jury hearing, evidence is presented by the government to a group made up of sixteen to twenty-three persons. Most of the time this is a one-sided method of displaying evidence, in contrast to a jury trial where the *petit jurors (*A standard jury for criminal as well as civil trials supervised by a judge) gets to weigh both the prosecution and the defense point of view and the evidence presented.

Over the development of my 35+ year career, I have represented a substantial amount of individuals that have been called to testify in front of a grand jury, as well as those who have been served with subpoenas whose testimony could be compelled. My proficiency in this category of the criminal law process provides these individuals with critical guidance regarding their presence at the hearing by acquiring immunity from prosecution in the case at hand or by directing individuals of their right to assert Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Although many assume that a grand jury proceeding is secret, legitimate means exist to acquire the material content and dialogue of this type of proceeding. Representation by a proficient criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale as an ally at this serious juncture of a criminal case is vital.

To read more about the Grand Jury Process, click here for more information.

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What is a Petition to Vacate a Guilty Plea?

Many would think that once you plead guilty to charges brought against you and convicted of the related offense, it’s the end of the road and all that’s left to do is wait for sentencing and hope for the best.

Well… not exactly.

In some cases there may be reason to throw out a guilty plea.

Evidence of a defendant's innocence may lead a jurist to the conclusion that a guilty plea must be set aside. If so, in cases of irrefutable proof it is the Judge's responsibility to set aside the plea. This situation also holds true if the judge decides that the defendant did not fully understand the charges brought against him as well as what the potential consequences could be for their admission of guilt. These two examples may hold true even if the defendant did not make the request personally or through a criminal defense attorney.

In addition to these examples, there are many others.

If it is found that your attorney did not represent you properly, a guilty plea can also be set aside. An example of this would be a lawyer who failed to inform you of possible loss of your civil rights relating to a guilty plea or an attorney that may have stated that you’d be deported if you are a non-citizen as a result of the plea you enter.

This is known as ineffective assistance of counsel and there are many instances where this may apply. The one thing they all have in common is that if recognized by the presiding judge, any of them will give the defendant the entitlement to a new trial.

I have been involved in many of these types of cases in the federal system, Florida courts, and other state courts. I am recognized for my argument in one of the most prominent cases of this type before the State Supreme Court of Florida. To hear and view the video of the argument I presented in the State of Florida v. Green, click the link below:

"Watch and hear Mr. Cohen present his argument before the Supreme Court."

For more information regarding Petitions to Vacate, follow this link.

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Hearings When Motions re Filed

A key phase of any criminal procedure regards the filing of relevant motions either preceding a trial or during the proceedings. Motions can also be filed by a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale after a trial concludes (post-trial motions).

Motions to the Court can be given orally as well as being submitted in written format. All allegations maintained against my clients in any criminal matter are vigorously contested. This is the area of the criminal law process where a superior knowledge of Motion practice comes into play.

There are numerous Motions that can be filed pre-trial, such as a Motion to demonstrate a defendant’s inability to understand charges brought against them or to show the prospect of insanity, just to name a few. During a trial, a skilled lawyer for the defense will commonly raise what are known as motions in limine (translated as: at the start). These Motions can vary from those that may exclude evidence presented, to those that request complete dismissal of charges.

To read about Motions in complete detail, click here for more information.

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Removal Proceedings and Extradition

When you or someone close to you is charged with a criminal offense or arrested in a different state or federal jurisdiction apart from where the original charges are pending, or in a foreign country where an extradition treaty exists between the United States and that country, it is vital to be able to rely on an experienced lawyer who has dealt with extraditions or removals as the case may be relating to such matters.

As an accomplished Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney my firm has handled many such state and federal cases over the years both from the standpoint of a federal and state prosecutor as well as a defense attorney.

A defendant who is facing extradition proceedings in State Court or Federal removal proceedings in the Federal Court will first be facing the issue of whether or not they can obtain a bond after their arrest by authorities. Special rules apply to bond hearings in such matters which differ greatly from the statutes relating to bond in conventional criminal proceedings.

The Court of first instance for these hearings is the United States Magistrate Court in Federal cases and specific Judges assigned to these cases in the State Court. Sometimes a Circuit or County Court Judge may sit in such cases in the State Court depending upon their assignment to these specific cases.

Different rules relating to deadlines for the extradition or removal proceeding apply to such matters and if a defendant is not taken from the responding jurisdiction after an adverse finding or waiver of removal or extradition within certain periods of time then the extradition or removal proceeding may be dismissed.

Moreover there are certain substantive defenses to a removal or extradition proceeding like the political offense exception to crimes alleged against a defendant detained in the responding jurisdiction.

I have handled many of these cases over the years and am available for consultation and retention in such matters of vital importance.

For more on this topic, click here for more information.

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Jury Trials

Succeeding as a versatile trial lawyer is a skill that is gained and polished over many years of experience through genuine application and presentation. In the close to forty years of my accomplished career as a defense attorney, I have attained the needed expertise which has led to the qualification of an adept, practiced trial attorney.

The authors of our constitution were intuitive when they included the critical passage of the right to a trial by jury. My overall experience since becoming a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, serving the public administering my craft, in and outside the State of Florida has made me the appropriate choice when a client decides to exercise this guaranteed constitutional right.

Trying cases within the federal system as well as in State Court has broadened my capabilities and overall value as an instrument to battle all allegations brought forth by the prosecution and convince an assemblage of a client’s innocence when there is the slightest question of doubt.

From white collar, charges to allegations regarding narcotics offenses, to complex federal death penalty cases as well as other charges which become dependent on a jury of your peers, I am recognized as the obvious selection to lead your defense, resulting in the best possible outcome achievable.

Nothing is more critical than the right guaranteed by our constitution to a jury trial. I have tried a multitude of trials by jury both before the State and Federal Courts in and outside of Florida. It takes years to become an exceptional trial lawyer and I have done just that by trying cases concerning white collar, narcotics, and complex federal death penalty cases throughout an extensive period of years.

Visit more pages explaining Jury Trials by clicking here.

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Bail/Bond Hearings

After an arrest takes place, and processing is completed, in most cases the individual is detained awaiting trial. Most likely, the primary thought in the accused’s thoughts as well as their loved ones and friends are how they can obtain their liberty during this early phase of the process.

A bail/bond hearing in most cases will take place 24 to 48 hours after the accused’s arrest. The hearing is held before a judge either in person or by electronic means such as by video camera. Bond is basically collateral, attempting to guarantee a defendant returns for future trial dates. The amount of the bond to be set is protected under the US Constitution from being excessive specified on a formula of minimums and maximums of monetary amounts which can be contemplated, dependent on the charges filed as well as other considerations.

The severity of the offense as well as the client's ties and standing in their community is also considered by the judge, relating to whether bond will be granted and when. My overall expertise as a criminal defense lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale area is extremely useful when filing and arguing a Motion for Bond and this element guarantees my clients’ the most favorable outcome possible while awaiting trial, if one is to take place.

This process is generally referred to as a detention hearing in the federal court and I have handled hundreds of them over the course of my extended career both in Federal Court and Florida State Courts as well as other Courts throughout the State of Florida and the New York City Metropolitan Area.

To read about Bail Hearings in detail, follow this link.

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Sentencing and Probation

After a trial where a negative outcome occurs, or if a guilty plea is accepted, a defendant facing incarceration will still benefit from the experience provided by my firm. It is critical to assist a client in attaining the best possible sentence available; whether a fine is involved or if actual prison time has become a reality. Knowledge of State and Federal sentencing guidelines, motions for sentencing departures, and expert testimony are some of the vehicles employed in the sentencing process with the goal of obtaining the most lenient possible sentence for each individual client. In the appropriate case my firm will seek to obtain either a probationary sentence or home detention in lieu of jail time where possible.

If the best case scenario of probation or community control is achieved at the judge’s discretion, particularly if adjudication of guilt is withheld (withholding adjudication under state law is not a conviction), it is important for the client to understand that if during the allotted time-frame of these penalties if they become in violation of their terms the possibility of being taken back into custody are a strong prospect. If this occurs, the individual would now face a probation violation hearing where a conviction could possibly result in the full term of his original statutory charge becoming reinstated.

More about Sentencing can be found here. Further information about Probation can be found by following this link.

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Once a trial concludes and verdict of guilty is pronounced, perhaps the Judge or Prosecutor made an error in trying the matter before a jury whether that error was comprised of erroneous evidentiary rulings which gutted your defense or perhaps the argument made by the prosecutor in his closing argument was inappropriate or outrageous. These are all reasons that would permit an appeal. That's the reason appellate courts exist, sitting to correct such errors of

Client Reviews
"I recently had the privilege of being represented by Mr. Michael B. Cohen and his stellar team, and I cannot emphasize enough the unparalleled professionalism, expertise, and care they provided throughout my case. From the onset, Daniella, Mr. Cohen’s assistant, was truly exceptional. Her dedication and support throughout each stage of the process were commendable, ensuring that I felt understood, supported, and well-informed at all times. If you are in search of representation in cases related to the Hague Convention, I can wholeheartedly attest that you’ll be in the best hands with Mr. Cohen. Beyond his vast knowledge and expertise, what sets him apart is his genuine human touch, an invaluable trait that makes a world of difference in such legal matters. In summary, my experience with Mr. Cohen and his team was nothing short of outstanding. I wholeheartedly recommend them not just for their legal acumen but also for the warmth, dedication, and understanding they bring to their work. A truly exemplary law firm." JOHANNER G.
"Michael B. Cohen fought. He fought and fought and fought some more in what turned into one of the most intensely disputed cases he has dealt with (in his words) in his decades of practicing law. Not a death row appeal, but a petition for my daughter’s repatriation under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. What impressed me the most was his ability to put ego aside and walk away with a negotiated settlement that got me everything I was looking for! Everyone likes winning, and we were in a very strong position. Rather than chance (even though it looked like a minuscule chance) an unfavorable judgement in trial (as you can never be 100% certain), he negotiated with opposing counsel in a recess during the opening minutes of trial. His negotiating took place out of sight and out of earshot, but the team of lawyers on the other side of the case came back looking completely and utterly defeated. It was a win, but both Michael and I were fired up and ready for trial. The deal on the ..." KYLE
"The best! Sadly I have hired many criminal attorneys. 99.9% of them took 1000s of dollars and in return I got nothing. Therefore I can say with certainty that Mr. Cohen is the best. His communication skills, his calmness, compassion and professionalism stand unmatched. I will be forever grateful that Mr. Cohen was recommended to me by a friend." ALEXANDRA
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  2. 2 Former Prosecutor
  3. 3 Extensive Trial Experience

Fill out the contact form or call us at 954.928.0059 or 561.366.8200 to schedule your free consultation.