Misdemeanors are criminal offenses that carry penalties such as jail time, the limitation of certain rights, and fines up to $1000. Although misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, these crimes still come with harsh consequences. Apart from that, the stigma that comes with misdemeanors will not just affect your life today, but your future as well.
If a prosecutor has charged you with any degree of misdemeanor in Florida, it would be wise to immediately contact a trusted law firm like Broward Criminal Lawyer.
Classes of Misdemeanors in Florida
In Florida, there are two major classes of misdemeanors: first-degree misdemeanors and second-degree misdemeanors. The level of misdemeanor you are charged with depends on the severity of the crime you have committed.
Lesser crimes such as disorderly intoxication, the first offense of petty theft, basic assault, trespassing, and vandalism damages worth less than $200 are classified as second-degree misdemeanors. More serious crimes like DUI, spousal abuse, battery, prostitution, reckless driving, and vandalism are classified as first-degree misdemeanors.
Penalties and Other Consequences of Misdemeanor Charges
Florida law dictates that the maximum penalty for first-degree misdemeanors should not exceed a fine of $1000 and one year in jail. Second-degree misdemeanor penalties, on the other hand, have a ceiling of $500 in fines and 60 days in jail. If the misdemeanor charge handed down to a person is not classified under current Florida law, it will automatically be classified as a second-degree misdemeanor.
Depending on the severity of your misdemeanor charge, the state may curtail some rights. The court can limit your right to buy or possess firearms. A conviction could even result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
The formal charges and fines are not the only consequences that you should be worried about when charged by a state prosecutor. You have to remember that misdemeanors will be on your criminal record forever. Certain jobs and specialties require no criminal charges. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, it could result in the termination of your employment, as well as the revocation of your license. Employers will be hesitant to hire you, and even landlords will think twice about letting you rent their properties.
How You Should Handle Misdemeanor Charges in Florida
Handling misdemeanor charges can be tricky. Since these are less serious than felonies, people dismiss misdemeanors as petty charges and do not prepare enough. This makes them vulnerable to maximum sentencing, which consequently affects not just their current standing in society, but their future as well.
The professional and societal stigma that comes with misdemeanors can also be debilitating. Your relationship with your friends, families, and peers can be affected if you are found guilty of first-degree or second-degree misdemeanors.
To make sure that you know how to deal with criminal defenses, plea deals, and court appeals, you need to seek the help of experienced Broward criminal lawyers. Our firm has been dealing with misdemeanor and felony charges for years, and we know the appropriate strategies to defend you against such charges.
If faced with a misdemeanor charge in Florida, contact Broward Criminal Lawyer immediately!