Pre-Filing Representation

Recently a client called into our office seeking the representation of a criminal defense lawyer in Miami.  The client had been arrested a few days earlier in Miami-Dade County and figured it would be best to hire a local lawyer to represent him.  He was absolutely correct.  The client’s arrest was for aggravated assault with a firearm where the firearm was discharged in the course of a crime.  In terms of criminal charges this crime is as serious as they come due to the 20-year minimum mandatory sentence imposed in the event of a conviction.

Aggravated Assault with a Firearm

This client had never been arrested before this incident and had zero contact with the criminal justice system yet he faced 20-years in jail if convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm.  The allegation against the client was that he was frustrated with juvenile criminal offenders hanging around his mother’s apartment due to their drug use and criminal activity.  He allegedly told them several times before to leave the area.  Allegedly the client got fed up with their activity and showed them a pistol and threatened if they ever came around again he would use the pistol, then firing a shot into the air as the juveniles fled.  Hiring a Miami criminal defense attorney shortly after his arrest probably saved this client from serving 20 years in jail.

The client immediately hired us after an in-person consultation and placed his future and trust into our hands. There is a stage in the criminal case process known as pre-filing.  In Miami this point takes place after an arrest and after the arresting officer submits his arrest affidavit to the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office.  The arrest affidavit goes to a unit in the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office known as the “Felony Screening Unit,” also known as FSU.  Here the case is evaluated by a prosecutor whereby a determination is made to file charges or not.  This is a critical stage in a criminal case where a criminal defense attorney can submit information unknown to the State Attorney’s Office and potentially influence whether criminal charges are filed or not.

On behalf of our client, we submitted a lengthy letter with supporting evidence of our client’s innocence.  Considerable time and energy was spent to inform the felony screening unit of the true nature of our client’s criminal case.  Ultimately, the aggravated assault with a firearm charge was dropped without any lesser charges being filed.  This was an incredible win for our law firm and even more so, for our client.

If you have been accused of a crime, contact the Miami criminal defense lawyers at Pagan & Stroleny, P.L.  Your case may be one where pre-filing representation saves you considerable time, energy, money, and most importantly, stress.  Our criminal law office is conveniently located in downtown Miami and can accommodate consultations 24/7.