A Coastal Beauty: Miami Beach, Florida

About Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach is a coastal city in South Florida that stretches for nine miles along a barrier island between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It has become known as “America’s Riviera” for its white sandy beaches and emerald blue waters and is one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the world. The city’s signature vibe is cosmopolitan – cool, trendy, and diverse. From its pastel-colored Art Deco buildings to its international cuisine to its sizzling nightlife — Miami Beach is a city like no other.

A Melting Pot

Miami Beach is a melting pot rich in cultural and ethnic diversity. It’s not uncommon to walk down the street and hear 10 different languages or dialects being spoken. Half of the area’s population is foreign-born and come from all over the world with a large contingent coming from the Caribbean and South and Central America. This eclectic mix of various people and cultures has become part of the fabric of Miami Beach and has influenced the food, art, music and fashion in the region.

Miami Beach Neighborhoods

Although part of Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach is its own municipality broken up by three main districts: South Beach, Mid-Beach, and North Beach.

South Beach, also known as SoBE is the most iconic neighborhood in Miami and runs from Biscayne Street (South Pointe Drive) to 23rd street. South Beach is energetic and sexy, a place where there is no shortage of models, celebrities, and fancy cars. The main thoroughfare is Ocean Drive, a 15 block strip of hip cafes and bars, upscale restaurants, boutiques, and swanky nightclubs. This bustling neon-lit beachfront street is set against the backdrop of the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the world comprised of hundreds of hotels, apartments, and other buildings dating back to the 1920s.

Across the road from Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th streets is Lummus Park, a getaway for those who want to go strolling, rollerblading, biking or participate in water sports and other beach activities. Another popular block in South Beach is Lincoln Road which runs east-west between 16th and 17th streets and features a pedestrian-only promenade with stores, galleries, restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

Situated mid-way between South Beach and Bal Harbour is Mid-Beach. This section of Miami Beach spans Collins Avenue from 25th to 50th streets. Situated on Collins Avenue is the largest hotel in South Florida, the Fontainebleau. The 1954 era hotel is known for being the old stomping grounds of such legends as the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley. Today, the Fontainebleau is home to the world-renowned LIV™ Nightclub, 12 restaurants and lounges, and a lapis spa.

Mid-Beach has experienced art, entertainment and residential Renaissance in recent years thanks to the new Faena District which was constructed by Argentinean developer Alan Faena and includes a 3-block complex made up of condominium buildings, an arts center, and retail complex.

North Beach or NoBe extends from 63rd Street to 87th Street. It’s just a 15-minute drive from South Beach but it feels like a world away. The vibe in North Beach is bohemian and laid-back, quiet, and family-friendly. Instead of ArtDeco architecture, you’ll find Miami modernism, or MiMo – a distinctive postwar style featuring garden-style apartment buildings with open-air hallways, mosaic tile, and futuristic looking columns. North Beach has a small town feel with various ethnic enclaves. The area is predominantly Latin American and home to a large community of Argentineans which has influenced the local cuisine.

Miami Beach Police Department

1100 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 | Phone: (305) 673-7900 | www.miamibeachfl.gov/mbpolice

The Miami Beach Police Department is responsible for patrolling the entire Miami Beach area and sometimes cooperates with the county-wide Miami-Dade Police Department when necessary.  Daniel Oates serves as the Chief of Police for the City of Miami Beach.

The Miami Beach PD is divided into three distinctive units: Criminal Investigations, Operations, and Support Services. The Criminal Investigations Division is made up of detectives and civilian staff who investigate and analyze a wide variety of crimes. The division is separated into two main categories: crimes against people and crimes against property. It is further broken down into smaller units including burglary, crime analysis, crime scene squad, economic crimes, robbery, special victims, strategic investigations, street crimes and victim advocates.

The Operations Division or “Highway Patrol” provides routine and emergency services to the community 24 hours a day. The Supports Services Division provides assistance to ensure the smooth operation of various police services.

2017 Crime Statistics Miami-Dade County

Violent Crime Total: 884

  • Homicide: 4
  • Rape 101
  • Robbery 308
  • Aggravated Assault/Stalking: 471

Non-Violent Crimes Total: 7,587

  • Burglary: 706
  • Larceny: 6431
  • Auto Theft: 450

Miami Beach Arrest Process

When a person is arrested in Miami Beach, they will either be given a citation or notice to appear or will be physically arrested and taken to the local police station for questioning and processing. They will then be transported to the Turner Guildford Knight Correctional Center ( 7000 NW 41st St, Miami, FL 33166) also known as “TGK” where they will be booked and held. Depending on the crime, the defendant may be released on their own recognizance or be allowed to post bond. Within 24 hours of the arrest, the defendant will be brought to a room in the Miami jail called “The Chapel” where they will appear in front of a judge via TV screen. The judge will review the police report and determine if the police had probable cause to make the arrest and sets bond.

If charged with a crime it is critically important to retain qualified legal representation as early as possible. A criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the criminal justice system and advocate on your behalf to get the charges against you dropped or reduced.

Florida Courts

The Florida court system is divided into Circuit Court and County Court. Circuit Court handles felonies and large civil actions while County Court handles misdemeanors and smaller lawsuits.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
2525 NW 62nd Street
Miami, Florida 33147

Criminal Courthouses in Miami

Miami-Dade County makes up the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. It has four main courthouses:

Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th Street
Miami, Florida 33125

The Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building is Miami’s Main Criminal Courthouse where felony, a misdemeanor, and traffic cases are heard, especially those that require a jury trial.

Miami-Dade County Courthouse  
73 W. Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130

The Miami-Dade County Courthouse hears circuit and county civil and probate cases

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW First Avenue
Miami, Florida 33128

The Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center handles family law matters including domestic violence.

Juvenile Justice Center  
3300 N.W. 27th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33142

The Juvenile Justice Center hears juvenile delinquency cases. It’s best to consult a criminal attorney should you require legal assistance.