My name is Michael D. Dicembre and I am the Senior Partner of Dicembre & Nace. I was born in the State of New York and resided there until the age of 12. My father was a member of the New York City Police Department and was a patrol officer in Manhattan. Suffice to say, I grew up surrounded by members of law enforcement who were both friends and colleagues of my father. Consequently, I grew up with the ‘law enforcement’ point of view. I viewed the criminal justice system through those eyes and from that point of view. So much so that I became the individual in criminal procedure class in law school who used to start arguments regarding the necessity of all the procedural safeguards that were in place to ‘protect us from law enforcement's wrong doings.’After all, law enforcement officers are out there to protect us. It is their job to go after evil-doers and protect us from all that is bad in the world. I understand today, that while true in theory, I had a very juvenile and simplistic view of the criminal justice system as it actually exists.
We are at a stage in our country's history where law enforcement has more power and authority, and the prosecution more weapons in their arsenal, than ever before. Conversely, we are at a time in history where many the tools traditionally utilized by the defense have been greatly reduced in number and volume. While the safety of its citizenry is certainly an appropriate goal for government, 'Privacy', once a touchstone of many a criminal defense case, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, §§ 12 and 23 of the Florida Constitution, is routinely disregarded as being secondary to our 'safety.' The sad part is that most people don't realize what it is they are losing. It usually takes something drastic, such as being a defendant in a criminal case, for people to realize the sad state of affairs. I see this firsthand on a near daily basis. While we certainly want to live in a ‘safe’ society, we must not forget we also want to live in a ‘free’ society. Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of our great nation, said it best:
"Those who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
How does all of this relate to the work my partners and I do here at Dicembre & Nace? Quite simply, I have always believed that my job, my duty as a criminal defense attorney is to protect the rights and freedoms of my clients and to make sure that law enforcement, police and prosecutors do not abuse the immense power they have been given. My partners and I fight daily to ensure that the constitutional rights, rights which make ours the greatest of nations, remain strong and are not reduced to mere words on paper. To do this, we need to make sure everyone’s rights are protected, even those, maybe especially those, who have been accused of wrongdoing.
If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, call the Central Florida criminal defense lawyers at Dicembre & Nace at (407) 649-1999. We will fight for your rights.