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.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyers

Defense for the Criminally Accused in Ft. Lauderdale and throughout Broward County

Have you been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, choosing the right lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. As former prosecutors with decades of legal experience, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. know the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. Whether you were arrested for DUI, a drug offensetheft, or any other crime, we can help. Our firm is available to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we'll be there for you when you need us most. 

When looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, it is important to retain the services of someone who has courtroom experience, maintains open communication, is familiar with the local courts, and understands criminal law. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our team has been practicing law for decades. We have handled numerous cases – both as former prosecutors and as defense attorneys – and are comfortable presenting arguments in front of judges and juries. While we seek to resolve matters before trial, we prepare for each case as if it will be litigated.

We are committed to keeping our clients updated and informed about their cases. Understanding how personal a criminal matter is, we ensure that our clients are involved in the decision-making concerning the progress of their cases. When you hire us, you can trust that you will be working with a team that genuinely cares about protecting your best interests and will fight aggressively for you.

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

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale

When facing criminal charges, hiring a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney immediately is vital. Broward County is a tough jurisdiction when it comes to criminal prosecution. Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys are ready to get started on your case right away. We will be by your side through every step of the legal process.

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers provide top-quality legal representation for a range of misdemeanor and felony charges, including:

  • Assault and battery: Although typically referred to together, assault and battery are actually separate offenses. In Florida, assault involves threatening to cause injury to another. Battery, on the other hand, involves actually physically contacting someone or causing bodily harm to them.
  • Disorderly conduct: This offense is a second-degree misdemeanor that occurs when someone engages in fighting or behavior that disrupts the peace and quiet or others or upset public decency.
  • Domestic violence: Domestic violence occurs when a person commits a crime against their family or household member.
  • Elder abuse: A person may be accused of committing an offense if they allegedly harmed, neglected, or exploited an elderly or disabled adult.
  • Federal crimes: These offenses involve prohibited conduct that violates federal laws or crosses state lines or country borders.
  • Fraud: Fraud crimes involve the use of deception to obtain something of value. A range of offenses falls under this term, including bribery, credit/debit card fraud, identity theft, and forgery.
  • Juvenile crimes: If a person under 18 years of age allegedly commits an offense, their case will be handled by the juvenile justice system. The processes differ from those occurring in adult courts.
  • Murder: Murder is the unlawful killing of another. Florida law enumerates three degrees of this offense, with first-degree being the most serious.
  • Manslaughter: Manslaughter is the killing of someone else without lawful justification. Under Florida law, the offense can be committed by an “act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another.”
  • Hit and run: Leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling lawful duties (hit and run) can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. The level depends on whether only property damage was caused or someone else was injured or killed due to the accident.
  • Sex crimes: Various offenses are considered sex crimes. They include, but are not limited to, prostitution, rape, sexual battery, child molestation, and child pornography. In some cases, a conviction can result in a requirement to register as a sex offender.
  • White collar crimes: Typically, these crimes occur in business or government settings; however, anyone can be charged with them. Offenses include, but are not limited to, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, identity theft, money laundering, insider trading, and tax evasion.
  • Weapons charges: Florida law enumerates several types of weapons offenses, such as brandishing a firearm, discharging a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a gun, and unlawful sale of firearms.

Additionally, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers help those who have a criminal conviction on their record seek expungement. This legal vehicle essentially clears the criminal information from public access. Expunging an offense can open opportunities that were once closed because of the conviction.

Florida Criminal Process

The criminal process in Florida begins with an arrest, followed by a criminal charge and formal filing by the state. A defendant may then enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, and if necessary, proceed to a criminal trial where a jury will determine their guilt or innocence. If found guilty, the defendant may appeal their conviction and sentence through the appeals process. The criminal process in Florida also includes pretrial release and diversion programs, as well as various sentencing options such as probation or incarceration. Throughout the criminal process, defendants have certain rights including the right to counsel and the right to remain silent. It is important to understand these rights and know how to navigate the criminal process in order to protect oneself during this difficult time.

The Sooner You Call, the Sooner We Can Get Started on Your Defense

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers have dedicated their careers to advocating for those trying to navigate the criminal justice system. We know law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges, and we use our insight to challenge the other side. Our goal is to seek the best possible results for clients, whether that means a reduction in charges and penalties or a case dismissal.

When your life is being turned upside down, it may seem like things will never be the same. We’re here to tell you that all hope is not lost. The first step in protecting your rights and freedom is gaining the help of legal professionals you can trust. When you hire our firm, we will begin exploring every angle of your case, disputing the evidence, and preparing your defense.

Hager & Schwartz, P.A. serves clients throughout Broward County, FL. We are available days, nights, and weekends, contact us at (954) 840-8713 today to request your immediate consultation.

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



John Hager was once a member of the prosecution team at the Broward County State Attorney's Office and is extremely familiar with both sides of criminal law. Brett M. Schwartz was the Assistant State Attorney in Broward County and honed his outstanding skills as a litigator during his tenure.

This knowledge and experience provides a significant advantage for our clients when it comes to negotiations, plea bargains, jury trials, and other legal maneuvers that are frequently necessary in criminal cases. Our track record in court is also a testament to our firm's dedication and skill.


  • Our criminal defense lawyers are former state prosecutors 
  • Our team is backed by over 50 years of combined experience 
  • We earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell® 
  • We have been named to the Super Lawyers® list 
  • We are available to our clients 24 hours a day 
  • We offer free, immediate & confidential case reviews

Our Client Success Stories

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The Right Defense Team Matters

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Top-Rated Lawyers Fighting on Your Behalf.

Former Prosecutors Handling Your Defense.

Decades of Legal Experience on Your Side.

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Our Blog

Attorneys John Hager and Brett Schwartz were named 2015 Legal Elite by Florida Trend. Congratulations are in order for this prestigious award!

Broward County has reportedly one of the highest numbers of hate crime cases. Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is especially committed to defending those accused of crimes.

On November 10, 2015, a final hearing regarding the charges and penalties for the possession of marijuana will take place. Learn more here.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorneys discuss DUI consequences and how a charge or conviction can impact your career. If you've been arrested, call Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. discuss when law enforcement can search your vehicle.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. discuss the use of field tests in drug crime cases.