Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer
No one expects to end up facing criminal charges. Those who do find themselves in this situation should, however, be sure to speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, as conviction can come with severe penalties. For instance, besides facing jail time, fines, and probation, individuals who are convicted of criminal offenses in Florida may also experience difficulty finding employment or securing housing due to their criminal record. To learn more about crafting a defense to your own criminal charges, please reach out to our dedicated Florida criminal defense lawyer today.
Florida, like most states, divides the majority of criminal offenses into two broad categories: misdemeanors and felonies. These two groups are then divided further into subcategories. Misdemeanors, for instance, are charged as either first or second degree offenses. Of these, second degree misdemeanors are considered the least serious and include offenses like simple assault, first offense petit theft, and driving on a suspended license, all of which are punishable by up to two months in jail and a $500 fine. First degree misdemeanors are more serious, as they are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Some of the most commonly charged first degree misdemeanors are battery, DUI, marijuana possession, and shoplifting.
Felony offenses are considered to be much more serious than misdemeanors. Third degree felonies, although technically the least serious form of felony, still come with imprisonment for up to five years and a $5,000 fine. Burglary, forgery, and multiple DUIs are all typically charged as third degree felonies. Second degree felonies are much more serious, as is reflected by the potential penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Aggravated battery with a weapon, sexual battery, and drug trafficking are all second degree felonies. First degree felonies, on the other hand, which include human trafficking, robbery with a weapon, DUI manslaughter, and carjacking, are punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
First degree felonies are not, however, the most serious charges that can be levied against someone in Florida who is accused of an especially violent crime. Life felonies are punishable by 40 years to life in prison, while capital felonies are punishable by life imprisonment or death. Those accused of murder, capital drug trafficking, and armed kidnapping often encounter these kinds of charges.
Planning a Defense
The type of defense that a defendant utilizes after being accused of a crime in Florida will depend on whether the charge in question is a misdemeanor or a felony, as well as:
- The nature of the offense;
- Whether the crime involved physical violence;
- The age of the alleged victim;
- Whether the defendant has a prior criminal record; and
- Whether the defendant is facing charges in state or federal court.
Valid defenses can include everything from self-defense and mistaken identity to a lack of intent or entrapment. Please reach out to our office today to learn more about which of these defenses could be used in your own case.
Set Up an Initial Case Review Today
If you have been accused of a crime in Florida, please call 561-626-8880 today to speak with one of the experienced Florida criminal defense lawyers at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. at 561-626-8880 about your legal options.