Award-Winning Defense

As former state prosecutors, our attorneys at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. possess experience from both sides of the courtroom. We are the defense team you need.

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyers

Aggressive Criminal Defense You Can Trust

Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is a Miami criminal defense law firm devoted to the defense of people charged with a crime in Miami Dade County and throughout Florida. As former Florida state prosecutors, the Miami criminal defense attorneys at our offices bring a unique perspective to clients' cases, as they have handled thousands of criminal cases from both sides of the law.

We do not shy away from any case, no matter how large or small they may seem. We have represented minor cases like disorderly conduct, all the way up to serious charges including, but not limited to, homicidesex crimes, and federal crimes. Other cases our Miami criminal defense lawyers handle include domestic violencechild abusedrug crimesDUIprobation violationstheft crimesjuvenile crimesexpungements and more.

Fighting a criminal offenses can feel like you are standing up against a wall, but we, Brett Schwartz and John Hager, founding attorneys of Hager & Schwartz, P.A., are on your side, ready to make all of those walls crumble. It is one of the reasons why we have risen to become one of the most elite and most widely recognized legal advocates in Miami. To ensure you are able to receive the criminal defense help you need as soon as possible, we offer immediate assistance, free consultations, and payment plans.

Our skilled and knowledgeable team of Miami criminal lawyers has over 50 years of combined experience. Throughout that time, we have come to recognize the gravity of facing criminal charges, whether a client has been wrongly accused or is confronting legitimate allegations. We are here to provide a defense against the accusations. We represent juveniles and adults, including specialized groups such as students, tourists, and licensed professionals.

Students from high school to graduate level might face charges like minor in possession of alcohol, use of a fake ID, theft, or possession of marijuana. These charges could affect current studies, eligibility for academic programs, and future job prospects. For tourists arrested on vacation, legal troubles away from home are complicated by unfamiliar laws and the prospect of having to return for court proceedings. In some cases, a local attorney may be able to represent these individuals even when they are back in their home state. Also, a criminal conviction can jeopardize the careers of professional license holders. We understand what’s at stake and can aggressively defend licensed professionals, protecting their integrity and rights.

Understanding Criminal Charges: From State to Federal Levels

Individuals can face a spectrum of charges in Miami, each with complexities and consequences. Our defense attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of state and federal law and are prepared to provide a robust defense.

Legal matters individuals can face include the following:

  • State crimes: These offenses violate state laws enacted by the Florida legislature and occur within the state's borders. They range from property crimes to acts of violence against individuals.

  • Federal crimes: Federal crimes are offenses that break laws made by the U.S. Congress and often involve actions that cross state lines or national borders. These offenses also include acts committed against U.S. government agents. Examples of federal crimes include arson, human trafficking, and terrorism.

  • Assault and violent crimes: Assault involves a threat of violence with the apparent ability to execute that threat, while violent crimes include any act that results or can result in physical harm to another person, such as domestic violence, battery, sexual assault, or kidnapping.

  • Drug crimes: These offenses encompass a variety of activities involving controlled substances, including simple possession, distribution, or trafficking, which can fall under state or federal jurisdiction.

  • Sex crimes: Offenses with sexual connotations, such as child molestation, indecent exposure, sexual battery, or traveling to meet a minor, are particularly sensitive. A conviction can lead to criminal penalties and a requirement to register as a sex offender.

  • White collar crimes: Typically nonviolent and financially motivated, these offenses occur in the business or government sectors. Fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and bribery are violations in this category.

  • Theft crimes: Theft involves taking another person's property without consent or through deception. It can include robbery, shoplifting, burglary, and fraud.

Our criminal attorneys recognize the seriousness of each case and the profound impacts they can have on our clients' lives. Regardless of the charge, we defend our clients aggressively, drawing on our decades of collective experience to build sound legal strategies. With help from our skilled and knowledgeable team of Miami criminal lawyers, our clients can be confident in our ability to deliver the comprehensive representation they need.

Florida Criminal Process

The criminal process in Florida starts with an arrest. Once a suspect has been apprehended, they are typically brought before a judge for a bail hearing where the court decides whether or not to release the defendant on bond. The next step is the arraignment, where the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. The case then proceeds to pretrial motions, where both sides present evidence and argue for certain outcomes. The actual trial follows, during which witnesses are called to testify and a jury determines the defendant's guilt or innocence. If found guilty, sentencing occurs in which the judge determines an appropriate punishment for the crime committed. After sentencing, there may be appeals if either side believes that mistakes were made during the criminal process. However, if all appeals are exhausted and no mistakes are found, the criminal process comes to an end and the punishment is carried out.

Defense You Can Depend On

A Firm With a Winning Record

Read a Few of Our Case Results

Aggravated Battery

Domestic Abuse

Drug Crimes

Sex Crime

Grand Theft

Why Hire a Miami
Criminal Defense Attorney?

Most people searching for a criminal defense lawyer in Miami aren't aware of the significant advantage they have when they choose defense local to their area. Most Miami criminal attorneys take cases in all courts and counties regardless of whether they have any experience practicing there, but a Miami criminal defense attorney has a better understanding of your local community.

Unlike other legal professionals, local attorneys are familiar with the courts and the prosecutors likely to be working on your case. It is important that you have the best possible chance at success in your case. If you have a Miami criminal defense attorney working your case who knows exactly what to expect from the prosecuting attorney, your case could greatly benefit. The outcome of your criminal case could result in a drastic and negative change in your life or it could result in little to no change. It is your attorney's goal to help get you the outcome that results in the least amount of negative change in your life and that of your family.

Why Hire Hager & Schwartz, P.A.?

  • Free initial defense consultation with an Miami criminal attorneys
  • Available 24/7, including weekends
  • Over 50 years of combined legal experience on your side
  • Former prosecutors handling your defense
  • Awarded SuperLawyers from 2017 to 2024

What Is a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Defense attorneys in Miami represent their clients during criminal court cases, helping them navigate the complexities of the legal system. Defense attorneys are responsible for representing their clients in court, advocating on their behalf, and helping them to understand their legal rights and options. They are both advocates and advisors, providing emotional support as well as legal defense plans.

From building a defense strategy by developing arguments that weaken prosecutors' cases to submitting motions that may prevent crucial evidence from being admitted at trial, negotiating plea deals, and providing advice and guidance throughout the legal process, defense attorneys in Miami will do everything they can to ensure their clients have the strongest defense possible and get a fair trial.

If you've been arrested or accused of a crime, you need to contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today to speak with our Miami criminal defense lawyers.

How Do I Find a Good Criminal Defense Attorney In Miami?

If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to find a good criminal defense attorney in Miami, FL who can help you through the legal process. There are a few ways to go about finding a criminal defense attorney. You can ask for recommendations from friends or family, or you can search online for attorneys in your area. Once you have compiled a list of potential attorneys, you should schedule consultations with each one. During the consultation, be sure to ask about the attorney's experience, their success rate, and their fees. You should also ask how the attorney plans to defend your case.

What Is Criminal History?

Criminal history is the record of behavior by an individual that has been deemed criminal or unlawful by any official authority. It includes criminal activities in both secular and ecclesiastical systems, such as criminal justice records, military criminal court proceedings, criminal transcripts, criminal complaints and indictments, and criminal inmate records.

The criminal history of an individual may be divided into two sections: prior criminal convictions and possible open criminal cases. Prior convictions are generally easier to access as they are officially filed documents while open criminal cases are much more difficult to find, since they are not publicly available.

What Is a Criminal Investigation?

A criminal investigation is a process of gathering evidence to determine if a person has committed a criminal act. It is conducted by police or criminal justice professionals, including experts in criminalistics and forensics. During an investigation, these individuals will collect physical evidence, digital records, testimonials, and any other relevant information which can be used in court. An investigation may lead to the arrest and later prosecution of the alleged criminal, so it is important that the work is done accurately to ensure a fair trial for all parties involved.

If you're facing criminal investigation, contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today at (305) 330-1360 to speak with our Miami criminal attorneys today!

Types of Cases We Handle

Assault & Battery

Domestic Violence

Drug Crimes


Probation Violations/Warrants

Sex Crimes

Theft/Burglary Crimes

White Collar Cimes

The Team Who Will Fight for You

Protecting your rights, defending your freedom

It Starts with Caring for Our Clients

Our Miami criminal defense lawyers understand that being arrested is a frightening and helpless experience. This is why we pride ourselves on being accessible and available for a consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you have regarding your case. We are committed to individualized care, which is why we provide every client with our individual cell phone numbers in the event they have a question about their case. Our Miami criminal defense attorneys strive to ensure that each client understands the confusing criminal justice system and also what strategies can be utilized to obtain the best possible result in their respective case(s).

Frequently Asked Questions

Facing criminal charges can be an overwhelming experience filled with uncertainty and numerous questions about the legal process. We understand how daunting this experience can be, which is why we have compiled answers to some frequently asked questions to clarify what to expect.

How much does a criminal lawyer cost in Florida?
The cost of a criminal attorney can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case and the lawyer's experience. Legal fees are typically charged hourly and can differ depending on your situation and the required legal services.
What if I can’t afford a lawyer in Florida?
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we recognize that legal defense costs can be challenging for many. That is why we offer multiple payment options including debit or credit cards, eChecks, and payment plans to help manage these costs, making quality legal representation accessible to those who need it.
What happens when you get arrested in Miami?
When you’re arrested, you will be taken to a local law enforcement office for booking. This process includes logging your personal information, taking fingerprints, and photographing you. Your personal items will be collected and inventoried. You will remain in custody until you can post bail, after which you will be released until your first court appearance.
Is it best to get a local lawyer?
Working with a local lawyer is beneficial. Local attorneys are familiar with state laws, local procedures, and court dynamics. They often have established relationships with the legal community, which can help navigate your defense more effectively.
Can my lawyer represent me in court without me being there in Florida?
Your lawyer might be able to represent you in court without your presence, particularly in misdemeanor cases where the defendant can be tried in absentia. Thus, if you are a tourist who was vacationing when charged with a crime, you might not need to return to Florida for your case. However, your presence might be required for more severe charges unless a judge approves your written waiver of appearance request.
How long do you stay in jail if you can’t make bail?
If you can’t post bail, you will remain in jail until your case is resolved. Your stay can range from a few days to several weeks or months, depending on the speed of the legal proceedings and the nature of the charges.
We have only touched on the surface of possible questions and know every case is unique. Thus, we offer immediate assistance and personalized responses to further queries or concerns. Whether you are a current or potential client, when you call us, you will receive direct answers from one of our attorneys, Brett Schwartz or John Hager. We are here to help alleviate some of the stress you might feel as you navigate these challenging times.

Our Client Success Stories

Accused of a Crime or Arrested?

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

The Right Defense Team Matters

Highlighted by Superlawyers from Years 2016-2024

Top-Rated Lawyers Fighting on Your Behalf

Former Prosecutors Handling Your Defense

Available 24/7, Including Weekends

flexible payment options available

over 50+ years of combined experience

Our Blog

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Miami - What is a Diversion Program? Am I Eligible?

Criminal defense blog post entitled State Drug Statute Ruled Unconstitutional. Contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. to speak to a Criminal Attorney Miami today!

Blog post entitled Should the 'Stand Your Ground' law for gun owners be repealed?.

Are Animal Cruelty Prosecutions a Waste? We cover this topic here.

Miami Criminal Defense Attorneys at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. discuss the difference between misdemeanor and felony crimes.

Miami criminal attorney John Hager is currently representing a client who was wrongfully arrest. Find out more about this here!