Many people don’t expect to hire a skilled Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer. There are times, however, when the law blindsides us. For example, the case of 90-year old Arnold Abbott, who was charged for violating a recently enacted Fort Lauderdale law that restricted the feeding of the homeless in public places. Fox News has more details on why the local government passed this law:


Fort Lauderdale is the latest U.S. city to pass restrictions on feeding homeless people in public places. Advocates for the homeless say the cities are fighting to control increasing homeless populations but that simply passing ordinances doesn’t work because they don’t address the root causes.

In the past two years, more than 30 cities have tried to introduce laws similar to Fort Lauderdale’s, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. The efforts come as more veterans face homelessness and after two harsh winters drove homeless people south, especially to Florida.

With the law approved, kind-hearted people like Mr. Abbot face the prospect of having a day in court and facing 60 days in jail plus a $500 fine for breaking the ordinance, which is a criminal charge. This may sound surprising but not all criminal charges are about murders and robberies. If this happens to you, you should have an experienced Ft. Lauderdale criminal lawyer like Richard Della Fera by your side.


Legal representation is the best way to ensure that you get a fair hearing and a chance to beat the charges against you. There are two types of criminal charges that can be filed against you: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are lighter cases usually involving violating local ordinances like Mr. Abbot feeding the homeless; they carry the consequence of a fine or a stay at the local jail. Felonies are more serious crime such as robbery and mean a stay in a federal penitentiary. However, both types would go on your permanent record and can negatively affect your life. For example, a charge on your record will usually show up during a background check for employment.


A lawyer you hire will do best to ensure the charges won’t stick, either by having them dismissed or defend you when it comes to trial. This is why it is important that you hire the best you can afford. With a skilled attorney by your side, you have a chance at fighting the charges against you and coming out clean.

(Source: Florida man continues to feed homeless despite looming criminal charges, Fox News, November 6, 2014)