A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Taxpayers Love for Drug Dealers

Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela is in custody in Miami's Federal Detention Center waiting for a visit from his new lawyer.

Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela is accused of participating in the cocaine trade and making a mere 2.1 billion in profit.

You hired his lawyer for him today, and you're paying for it as we speak.

Ninety-dollars an hour. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

That's what you want, right?

No, I'm not kidding. You can read about it on the popular blog of top-flight Miami criminal defense attorney David Markus at his ever-popular Southern District of Florida Blog

Federal Law prohibits criminal defendants from using money they made in their criminal ventures, for lawyers.

So I can't take money from a criminal client if the money was made through a criminal act.

You agree with THAT - don't you? Of course. It sounds reasonable.

Criminals shouldn't be able to make money illegally and then use that money to pay the lawyer to defend them.

YEAH! - "I'll show them!" you say."

Yeah, you're "showing" them.... showing them the money that is.

Think about it for a couple hours

(That's $90 per hour, times 2 hours, times how many criminal defendants in America with tainted money????????????????)

Ninety bucks could buy, I don't know, a few bags of ice........


  1. Drug dealers should not have access to millions of dollars to mount a defense like that of O.J. Simpson. I'm not sure what the solution is. We cannot confiscate the millions of dollars until there has been a conviction. I suppose the government could pay for the public defender's expenses from the funds of the accused, even if said funds are illegally gotten. But don't those funds go to the government upon his or her conviction anyway? I'm not a lawyer so I'm not sure what the law is on those points. Would love to hear what you think about that?

  2. Public Defenders are terribly overworked and have limited resources. Maybe millions of dollars confiscated by law enforcement should be split evenly? Half should go to fund the public defender's office and half to law enforcement?

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