Since 1980, Joel DeFabio has practiced Criminal Defense in Miami, Florida. During his 31 year career, he established himself as one of the pre-eminent Federal Criminal Defense lawyers in the country. Joel’s trial work accounted for over 50 “NOT GUILTY” verdicts, including the Nationally acclaimed “Liberty City 7″ terrorist trial. In 2007, The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) awarded him the Rodney Thaxton “Against All Odds” award, one of their highest annual honors. The Daily Business Review also named him one of Miami’s “Most Effective Lawyers” in the specialization of Criminal Justice in 2008.
Joel also maintains a specialty in Federal fraud crimes relating to health care and real estate mortgage. Having represented some of the first defendants arrested for these crimes in the country, Joel helped to shape several of the laws and practices now used everyday in these Federal Criminal proceedings. Joel graduated from the University of Miami Law School in 1980, where he earned the Book Award in Advanced Criminal Procedure. He immediately began his legal career in Miami-Dade County as an Assistant Public Defender. After handling cases in the juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony divisions, he started his own firm in Coral Gables, Florida, where he practiced for several years. Along with building a resume of over 100 jury trials, he authored several Criminal Appeals, accounting for some of Florida’s most influential caselaw regarding a citizen’s right to privacy.
- Former Assistant Miami-Dade Public Defender
- Defended thousands of criminal cases at every level including Juvenile, Misdemeanor and Felony in Miami-Dade County since 1980.
- Winner of the Rodney Thaxton “Against All Odds” Award in 2007, (FACDL)
- Most Effective Lawyer in Criminal Justice Nominee, 2008, Daily Business Review
- Practicing criminal law exclusively in Miami-Dade County since 1997
- Admitted, Florida and New Jersey Bar in 1980
- Admitted, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 1981
- Admitted, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida Trial Bar in 1984
- Admitted, US District Court for the Middle District of Florida in 1989
- Admitted, US District Court for the Northern District of Florida in 2005
- Admitted, US District Court for the District of New Jersey in 1980
- Admitted, US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in 1989
- Admitted, US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in 1989
- Admitted, US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in 1988
- Book Award, University of Miami Law School in Advanced Criminal Procedure.
- Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL)