A misdemeanor is the legal term for a specific class of criminal offenses. Misdemeanor charges are less serious than a felony but can still result in legal consequences. I have seen the devastating effects of misdemeanor charges on a person’s life. A misdemeanor charge carries the potential to scar a person’s criminal record forever, resulting in an inability to acquire a job or attain federal student aid. It is absolutely critical to acquire an experienced and competent defense attorney if faced with a misdemeanor charge.
Misdemeanors are a potentially life altering event, and hiring the right attorney can result in a very favorable outcome. Misdemeanor classes vary by state. In Florida, there are two misdemeanor classes. They encompass a wide variety of offenses, ranging from possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct to vandalism and petty theft. The two classes are:
First Degree Misdemeanors
First degree misdemeanors are the most serious classification of misdemeanor charges in Florida, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Examples of First Degree Misdemeanors in Florida include:
– BUI (Boating Under the Influence)
– Criminal Mischief (damage between $200 and $1,000
– DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
– Petit Theft (2nd Offense)
– Reckless Driving
– Simple Battery
Second Degree Misdemeanors
Second degree misdemeanors are less serious, but still carry potential jail time and a fine, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, and a $500 fine.
Examples of Second Degree Misdemeanors in Florida include:
– Criminal Mischief (damage under $200)
– Disorderly Conduct
– Disorderly Intoxication
– Driving with a Suspended License with Knowledge (1st Offense)
– Petit Theft (1st Offense)
– Simple Assault
What Is the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor?
The major difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the potential jail time.
Misdemeanor: An offense with a potential outcome of 1 year or less of incarceration in a jail.
Felony: An offense that can result in a prison sentence of over a year.
However, there is an opportunity to get these charges expunged or sealed with proper legal representation, depending on the circumstances. The judge may also decide a different penalty other than the maximum under Florida state law. There are many possible outcomes for a guilty plea. Some of these possibilities include no jail time, community service, or drug counseling. The easiest way to get these alternative sentences is through a competent and aggressive defense attorney.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with PLM Attorneys
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of seeking counsel to achieve the best possible results in these cases. The proper defense attorney can help you recover and move on from a misdemeanor charge. If you are in need of a defense attorney, schedule a free consultation with PLM Attorneys.