Federal Public Defender – Home Page2020-03-15T23:59:33+00:00

The Southern District of Florida Federal Public Defender’s Office is dedicated to defending our clients with compassion and vigor.

The Southern District of Florida Federal Public Defender’s Office is dedicated to defending our clients with compassion and vigor.

The Southern District of Florida Federal Public Defender’s Office is dedicated to defending our clients with compassion and vigor.

The Southern District of Florida Federal Public Defender’s Office represents clients who have been charged with a federal crime and who cannot afford to hire a private defense attorney. Each attorney is appointed to represent his or her client by the Court. We are passionate in our mission to provide effective legal representation, and are dedicated to defending our clients with compassion and vigor.

We understand that navigating the legal system is a stressful and difficult process for our clients and their families. Our website is designed to bring a sense of transparency and accessibility to this process.

The Southern District of Florida Federal Public Defender’s Office represents clients who have been charged with a federal crime and who cannot afford to hire a private defense attorney. Each attorney is appointed to represent his or her client by the Court. We are passionate in our mission to provide effective legal representation, and are dedicated to defending our clients with compassion and vigor.

We understand that navigating the legal system is a stressful and difficult process for our clients and their families. Our website is designed to bring a sense of transparency and accessibility to this process.

Notice Regarding COVID-19 from Michael Caruso, Federal Public Defender

With the increasing news and concern about the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we want to assure you that your health and safety is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation, and no matter what happens, we will keep providing you the highest quality representation.

That said, to protect the health and safety of our staff, we have decided to reduce the number of individuals physically present in each office. Instead, much of our staff will be working from home and will only be going to the courts and jails if necessary. Although much of our staff will not be physically present in the office, you will still be able to communicate with your attorney and other staff members by phone, letter, and email. If you need anything, do what you normally do, call the office.

Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor the news and reports from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as local, state, and federal governments. We hope to have more information for you in the coming days. We know being in custody makes it difficult to take the preventive measures you would like to take, but please do your best to remain safe and healthy, including washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. These are unprecedented times. Together we will get through them.

Information for clients and families

Here, you can find information on how to find your court-appointed attorney. This section also answers frequently asked questions related to arrest, bail, detention, sentencing, and appeals.

Client Information
Family member holding hands

Information for clients and families

Here, you can find information on how to find your court-appointed attorney. This section also answers frequently asked questions related to arrest, bail, detention, sentencing, and appeals.

Client Information
Family member holding hands

Resources for attorneys

This section provides resources for attorneys who have been appointed under the Criminal Justice Act, and information for attorneys seeking admission to the Criminal Justice Act Panel. Training and CLE opportunities are available.

Attorney Resources
Legal books

Resources for attorneys

This section provides resources for attorneys who have been appointed under the Criminal Justice Act, and information for attorneys seeking admission to the Criminal Justice Act Panel. Training and CLE opportunities are available.

Attorney Resources
Legal books

Legal News & Updates

Harris Deutch Letter Requesting Supplemental Funding for Public Defense (4.8.20)

April 8th, 2020|

Text of the letter is below; you may read the original letter in PDF format. The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable [...]

United States v. Jones, No. 17-12240 (Oct. 25, 2018)

October 25th, 2018|

In United States v. Jones, No. 17-12240 (Oct. 25, 2018) (Marcus, Tjoflat, Newsom), the Court held that Florida second-degree murder is a violent felony under the elements clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The Court rejected the defendant's primary argument that the use of poison did not constitute the use of physical force.  Prior [...]

United States v. Carthen, No. 16-17653 (Oct. 25, 2018)

October 25th, 2018|

In United States v. Carthen, No. 16-17653 (Oct. 25, 2018) (Martin, William Pryor, Baldock), the Court affirmed the defendants' robbery and firearms convictions and sentences over multiple challenges. First, the Court found sufficient evidence that one of the defendants conspired to commit a robbery and voluntarily participated in the robbery with a firearm. Second, the [...]

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