About 2018-05-08T13:31:57+00:00

Our Mission

The United States Supreme Court has held that our constitutional right to a fair trial includes the right to effective legal representation—whether we can afford an attorney or not. To serve that end, Federal Public Defender’s offices have been established nationwide. Founded in 1971, we are proud to be one of the oldest public defender’s offices in the country.

Our main office is in Miami, with branch offices in Fort Lauderdale (30 miles north), West Palm Beach (75 miles north), Fort Pierce (125 miles north) and Key West (179 miles south). We defend a diverse range of criminal charges including drug crimes, tax law violations, firearms offenses, bank robbery, racketeering, bank fraud, environmental crimes, and computer-based offenses. We are also appointed to represent clients in extradition, post-conviction, and treaty transfer proceedings.

Our Mission

The United States Supreme Court has held that our constitutional right to a fair trial includes the right to effective legal representation—whether we can afford an attorney or not. To serve that end, Federal Public Defender’s offices have been established nationwide. Founded in 1971, we are proud to be one of the oldest public defender’s offices in the country.

Our main office is in Miami, with branch offices in Fort Lauderdale (30 miles north), West Palm Beach (75 miles north), Fort Pierce (125 miles north) and Key West (179 miles south). We defend a diverse range of criminal charges including drug crimes, tax law violations, firearms offenses, bank robbery, racketeering, bank fraud, environmental crimes, and computer-based offenses. We are also appointed to represent clients in extradition, post-conviction, and treaty transfer proceedings.

Message from Michael Caruso

I have been privileged to serve as Florida’s Southern District Federal Public Defender since my appointment by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012. Our office is dedicated to effectively representing our clients and assisting them with compassion in navigating the complex legal system. We hope this website answers your questions and gives you the resources you need to move forward.

“From the very beginning, our state and national constitutions and laws have laid great emphasis on procedural and substantive safeguards designed to assure fair trials before impartial tribunals in which every defendant stands equal before the law. This noble ideal cannot be realized if the poor man charged with crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him.” – Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 344 (1963).

There are more than 2.3 million Americans behind bars in the United States—which is the highest rate in the world. This level of mass incarceration has direct and significant consequences for the individuals imprisoned and their families as well as for all of our society. The role of defense counsel is to provide representation for those accused at every stage of the criminal process and to ensure that all defendants have a fair trial.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office represents individuals who cannot afford to hire a lawyer in federal criminal cases. We are appointed to cases by the judges of the Southern District of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Through zealous and vigorous advocacy, our clients get the representation they need and we strive to make the justice system fairer.

Message from Michael Caruso

I have been privileged to serve as Florida’s Southern District Federal Public Defender since my appointment by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012. Our office is dedicated to effectively representing our clients and assisting them with compassion in navigating the complex legal system. We hope this website answers your questions and gives you the resources you need to move forward.

“From the very beginning, our state and national constitutions and laws have laid great emphasis on procedural and substantive safeguards designed to assure fair trials before impartial tribunals in which every defendant stands equal before the law. This noble ideal cannot be realized if the poor man charged with crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him.” – Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 344 (1963).

There are more than 2.3 million Americans behind bars in the United States—which is the highest rate in the world. This level of mass incarceration has direct and significant consequences for the individuals imprisoned and their families as well as for all of our society. The role of defense counsel is to provide representation for those accused at every stage of the criminal process and to ensure that all defendants have a fair trial.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office represents individuals who cannot afford to hire a lawyer in federal criminal cases. We are appointed to cases by the judges of the Southern District of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Through zealous and vigorous advocacy, our clients get the representation they need and we strive to make the justice system fairer.

List of Attorneys

Miami Office

Ft. Lauderdale Office

West Palm Beach Office

Ft. Pierce Office