There are two primary types of criminal charges: felony and misdemeanor offenses. Florida law categorizes misdemeanors as either first-degree misdemeanors or second-degree misdemeanors. First-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to sixty (60) days in jail and up to $500 in fines. All misdemeanor crimes are prosecuted in County Court. Some examples of common misdemeanor charges include: reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of marijuana, criminal mischief, loitering, and trespassing.
While misdemeanor crimes are less severe than felony offenses, they can still have a serious impact on your life. A criminal record can not only affect your ability to find a job or a place to live, but can also risk your eligibility for student loans or professional licenses. That is why it is so important that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with any crime. I can help. CONTACT US today to schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation and speak directly with a St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer. All information communicated during your consultation will be kept confidential.
Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") it is important to have an attorney who can explain and defend your rights. Immediately following a DUI arrest, your driver's license will be administratively suspended ten (10) days after your arrest. In certain situations, you may be eligible for a hardship license immediately, which will allow you to drive to work or school.
A DUI lawyer will closely analyze each aspect of your case and the evidence against you. Oftentimes, pretrial motions can be argued to exclude certain items of evidence and weaken the State's case against you. One of the most critical aspects of a DUI case is the initial traffic stop. If the initial stop is found to be improper, any evidence obtained during the stop would be suppressed and cannot be used against you. This severely limits the State's case against you and will like result in the charges against you being dropped.
A DUI conviction on your record will result in serious consequences that may follow you for the rest of your life. Depending on the facts in your case, a DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate with the State Attorney to obtain a plea bargain to the lesser charge of "reckless driving," to avoid a DUI conviction. If you have been charged with DUI, don't hesitate to CONTACT US to schedule a free 30-minute consultation to have a criminal defense lawyer evaluate your case today.
In the State of Florida, felony crimes are broken into several different categories, or degrees, which each vary in terms of potential punishment and/or fines:
- Capital or Life Felony – Capital or life felonies are the highest degrees of crimes in the State of Florida. Life Felonies are punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole or probation for the remainder of your life and a fine of up to $15,000. Some examples of life felony crimes include certain types of robberies, kidnappings, sexual batteries, and homicides. (See Florida Statutes §§ 787.01; 812.13; and 782.04). Capital felonies are the most serious crimes in the State of Florida and carry the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. First degree murder is classified as a capital felony in Florida. (See Florida Statute § 782.04).
- First Degree Felony – First degree felonies in Florida are typically punishable by a maximum sentence of thirty (30) years in prison, thirty (30) years probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. (See Florida Statutes §§ 775.082 and 775.083).
- Second Degree Felony – In Florida, second degree felonies are typically punishable by a maximum sentence of fifteen (15) years in prison, fifteen (15) years probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. (See Florida Statutes §§ 775.082 and 775.083).
- Third Degree Felony – A third degree felony is the lowest degree of felony in Florida and is typically punishable by a maximum of five (5) years in prison, five (5) years probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. (See Florida Statutes §§ 775.081; 775.082; and 775.083).
If you have been arrested and charged with a felony, the effects of a conviction can have a life altering impact. In addition to punitive ramifications, i.e. jail time and/or fines, a felony conviction can often have collateral consequences which could include the loss of your job, reduced access to government benefits including housing and student loans, and the loss of the rights to vote or own a firearm.
It is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible so that you make informed decisions regarding your case, which can greatly reduce the chances of a conviction on your record. The Law Office of Marcus Thompson provides dedicated felony criminal defense aimed at ensuring that your rights are protected and you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. As a small firm, the Law Office of Marcus Thompson provides personal and individualized service so that you remain up-to-date on how your case is progressing. Don't hesitate to CONTACT US today to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
Criminal Record Sealing and Expungement
We all have certain events in our lives that we regret. Don't let a one-time mistake from your past come back to haunt you and prevent you from getting into the college of your choice or landing your dream job.