Kristy Nunez, daughter of Cuban immigrants, was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and attended the University of Miami where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. Kristy then earned her law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law.
While in law school, Kristy served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Magistrate Ted E. Bandstra of the United States District Court and interned at the Office of the State Attorney in Miami-Dade County. Upon graduation, she accepted a full-time position as Assistant State Attorney, which she has held for the past 13 years. Kristy has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases, argued hundreds of motions, and tried approximately 50 cases before a jury.
Since 2016, Kristy has served as the Chief of the Human Trafficking Unit where she prosecutes sex and labor trafficking cases as well as supervises the unit. As part of her duties, Kristy plays a role in assuring that current laws protect the needs of the human trafficking victims, and helps serve as an advocate for legislative change.
In 2017, Kristy was instrumental in identifying gaps in the law and helped achieve legislative changes to the pre-trial detention statute, as well as the statute that deals with the admissibility of a defendant’s confession in human trafficking cases. Both changes resulted in more protective laws for our human trafficking victims and an increase to the safety of our community. This year, after a year of research, Kristy was able to implement a Pre-trial Intervention Program for first time offenders at the State Attorney’s Office. The program will allow sex workers arrested for the crime of Prostitution, and sex buyers arrested for Solicitation, to enter a program that would result in a dismissal of their case upon completion of the program.
Furthermore, Kristy has worked tirelessly to spread awareness and education on the topic of human trafficking. She has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers on the proper procedure of handling these sensitive cases. She has also trained first responders, such as firefighters and healthcare professionals, on the identification of human trafficking victims and the protocols that should be followed. In the last 2 years, Kristy has been a staple in community outreach events dealing with the topic of human trafficking, presenting at schools, after-school programs, radio shows, events held by non-profit organizations, and universities such as the University of Miami, Florida International University, St. Thomas University, and Florida State University.
Kristy served as a Faculty Presenter at the 2017 College of Advanced Judicial Studies, where she spent a day training and educating judges in the State of Florida on the topic of Human Trafficking. She was also a Faculty Presenter for the 2018 National District Attorney’s Association Conference, and has appeared before the Florida Supreme Court Family and Children Steering Committee, led by Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, to present and discuss relevant matters that affect minor victims of crime as a result of being deposed.
Prior to 2016, Kristy served as a Felony Division Chief for four years where she focused on investigating and prosecuting homicide cases and training junior prosecutors. Kristy has also specialized in prosecuting violent career criminals during her time in the Career Criminal and Robbery Unit, and spent almost four years in the Sexual Battery and Child Abuse Unit advocating for the rights and safety of minor victims and rape victims.
Kristy’s passion for youth advocacy and dedication to crime prevention extend beyond the walls of the State Attorney’s Office, and in 2010, she was compelled to action. Kristy co-founded Urban Promise Miami (UPM), a nonprofit organization committed to serving at-risk youth and their families in under-resourced communities within Miami-Dade County.
UPM currently serves 100 youth and teens in the East Little Havana community, and had a second location for approximately 2 years in the Miami Gardens community serving 150 youth. Since its inception, UPM has accomplished a 100% high school graduation rate in an area where only 39.6% of high school students typically graduate.
Since 2010, Kristy has served as Board Chair of UPM, and is currently a Board Member of the Miami-Dade League of Prosecutors. From 2010 to 2013, Kristy served on the Board of Directors of The Melissa Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and prevention of violence. In 2012, she served on the Alumni Council for Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, and as Events Chair for the St. Thomas School of Law Alumni Council.
Kristy has received numerous awards and honors for the significant impact she has made in the community, particularly with respect to issues affecting children and minorities. In 2013, Kristy was honored by the Women’s Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami as a 2013 Miracle Maker, which highlighted the good deeds and positive impact she has had on the lives of the children in the community. In 2014, she was selected by The Women’s Fund as a Mujeres Giving Back Honoree under the “Jóvenes” category, highlighting the philanthropic impact she and other Hispanic women leaders have had in Miami-Dade. In 2015, she was selected as a recipient of the Susan Keeley Community Service Award from The Melissa Institute for her dedication to service through UrbanPromise Miami.
In 2016, Kristy received the PayIt4ward Honor from BMW USA and Made Magazine, which celebrates high impact and diverse women making a difference in the community. In 2017, Kristy received the Spirit of Sophie Alumnae Award from Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart Alumnae Association, and was selected by the Miami Dade County Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board as the ‘2017 Advocate of the Year’ for her distinguished service and tireless work in improving minority issues in the community. In 2018, Kristy, along with the Human Trafficking Unit she supervises, received the ‘Justice For All’ Award from the Coral Gables Police Department and the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Committee for her outstanding contribution to victims of crime.
Kristy has dedicated her professional career and personal life to public service. It is her passion for the law, as well as her love for the community, that ignites her desire to serve Miami-Dade County from the bench.