When most people talk about criminal offenses in Florida, they think about 2 major classes: felonies and misdemeanors. While most criminal charges fall into one of these two broad categories, they each branch out into several levels with their own thresholds of punishment. A Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these criminal charges in court.
Defining Felony Criminal Offenses in Florida
When your criminal charges are deemed to be at the felony level, there are many different sublevels of that conviction. You can face anywhere from 5 years to life in prison or even the death penalty for various degrees of felony criminal charges, as well as fines from $5,000 to $15,000.
There are 5 degrees of felony criminal offenses in Florida: capital, life, first degree, second degree, and third degree. A capital felony offense will result in punishment by death or life imprisonment without parole, depending on the court findings. A life felony offense carries a term of imprisonment for life, except in certain circumstances related to the date the criminal offenses in Florida took place.
For the numerical felony degrees, incarceration for these criminal charges also varies according to the severity of the criminal offense. A first degree felony will result in imprisonment up to 30 years and in some cases to a term not exceeding life imprisonment. A second degree felony can result in imprisonment up to 15 years, and 5 years for a third degree felony.
The fines for each level of felony criminal charges are also adjusted based on the severity of the criminal offenses in Florida. A life felony conviction can result in fines up to $15,000, while first and second degree felonies can cost up to $10,000, with $5,000 being the maximum penalty for a third degree felony.
All of these punishments are unique to the criminal charges you face after being arrested for criminal offenses in Florida. An experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and determine a defense strategy to fight these charges in court.
Defining Misdemeanor Criminal Offenses in Florida
Misdemeanor criminal offenses in Florida are much lower in terms of punishment and have only a first and a second degree classification. A first degree misdemeanor can result in imprisonment up to 1 year and fines up to $1,000. A second degree misdemeanor may be punishable with up to 60 days imprisonment and fines not exceeding $500.
Depending on the evidence provided against you and your specific criminal charges, your Miami criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you reduce or even dismiss the charges you are facing.