Florida Criminal Law: Felonies and Misdemeanors

Posted on October 7, 2010 in: Criminal Defense

If you have recently been charged with a crime in Florida, then it is important that you have a solid grasp of Florida criminal guidelines. Florida statutes establish the criminal guidelines for both misdemeanors and felony offenses. A Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you to interpret these guidelines to give you a better idea of what’s at stake.

Classifications of Felonies in Florida

According to Florida criminal guidelines, felonies are classified in the following categories:

  • Capital felony – includes murder and homicide.
  • Life felony – includes manslaughter, some types of sex crimes, kidnapping, rape, burglary and robbery.
  • Felony of the first degree – includes white collar crime, drug trafficking, manslaughter, some types of sex crimes, drug crimes, theft, robbery, kidnapping and burglary.
  • Felony of the second degree – includes aggravated battery, DUI, felonious driving, domestic crimes, theft, white collar crimes, some types of sex crimes, robbery and drug crimes.
  • Felony of the third degree – includes aggravated assault, trespassing, possession of an illegal substance (drugs) and petty crimes.

Each felony classification carries with it a specific set of penalties. If you’ve been charged with a felony, your Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you to understand the range of punishment assigned to each crime. 

Furthermore, Florida criminal guidelines establish the following penalties for a felony in Florida:

  • Capital felony – capital punishment (death) or a life sentence.
  • Life felony – a prison sentence of as much as 40 years to life and up to a $15,000 fine.
  • Felony of the first degree – As much as 30 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Felony of the second degree – As much as 15 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Felony of the third degree – As much as 5 years of imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine.

According to Florida criminal guidelines, certain felonies can be expunged from your permanent criminal record, while others cannot. A Miami criminal defense lawyer can tell you which felonies may be expunged.

As you can see from this list, Florida criminal guidelines call for very serious sentencing measures for felonies. If you have been charged with any degree of felony, an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you defend your rights in a court of law. 

Classifications of Misdemeanors in Florida 

According to Florida criminal guidelines, misdemeanors are classified either as a misdemeanor of the first degree, or a misdemeanor of the second degree. Some common misdemeanors in Florida include disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, driving while under the influence of alcohol, shoplifting, battery and vandalism.

Penalties for these criminal offenses include: 

  • Misdemeanor of the first degree – punishable by no more than one year in jail, one-year probation and a $1,000 fine.
  • Misdemeanor of the second degree – punishable by no more than 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation and a $500 fine. 

According to Florida criminal guidelines, some misdemeanors can be expunged from your permanent criminal record. If you want to expunge a misdemeanor from you record, your Miami criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you in this process. 

How a Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then your case should be evaluated by an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. With the help of a Miami criminal defense lawyer, you may discover ways to beat your criminal charge. 

A Miami criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you:

  • fight your Florida DUI charge;
  • fight charges of theft, domestic violence, SunPass violations, habitual traffic offenses and probation violations;
  • reinstate your driver’s license;
  • petition to have a criminal charge expunged;
  • negotiate a plea bargain; and
  • represent your interests in a formal court of law.

Contact a Miami criminal defense lawyer for an explanation of Florida criminal guidelines. After hearing your case, an attorney may advise you on the best course of legal action. In some cases, a Miami criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid paying fines, having your driver’s license suspended, getting a permanent criminal record and/or spending any amount of time in jail.

Contacting a Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami criminal defense lawyer team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 877-663-5110.

Comments (1 Comment)

  1. Charged with Felony in Florida | Miami Criminal Defense Attorney | Falk & Ross, PA
    October 9, 2010

    […] soon as possible after you receive your felony charge, you’ll want to gain an understanding of Florida criminal guidelines. A Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you to understand what’s at stake and can also […]

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