A felony versus misdemeanor charge is determined by the crime’s severity and sometimes the history of the alleged offender. The prosecutor could charge one person with a misdemeanor but a felony charge to another based on the contributing factors. No two crimes are exactly the same; some things considered might include the victim’s age, if the alleged perpetrator used a weapon, if the crime was premeditated, the extent of the victim’s injury, or the amount of property damage. The elements of each case will determine what charges the Florida prosecutor files. Our attorneys have represented clients throughout Florida and calls are answered 24/7/365. We understand criminal charges require immediate attention and don’t typically adhere to a 9-5 schedule.
Felonies are the Most Complex and Serious Charges
When faced with felony criminal charges, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to protect your rights. At Alba & Straile, PLLC, we work diligently to achieve a dismissal of charges, negotiate the most favorable plea deal, or obtain an acquittal at trial. Our legal team provides aggressive representation for our clients. We stand firm in the belief that you are innocent until proven guilty.
In Florida, Felony Crimes are Designated into Five Categories:
- Capital felonies are the most severe offenses, punishable by death. A few examples of capital felonies here in Florida are premeditated murder, capital drug trafficking, armed kidnapping, or causing death while committing a violent crime.
- Life felonies carry a penalty of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole and a fine of up to $15,000. A few examples of a life felony crime are kidnapping and armed burglary; this is also reserved for habitual offenders.
- First-degree felony is punishable with up to 30-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. First-degree felonies are not limited to but include drug trafficking, armed home invasion, armed robbery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, exploitation of the elderly greater than $50,000, and carjacking. Offenders of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene will also be charged with a first-degree felony.
- Second-degree felony carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. Some crimes that warrant a second-degree conviction are possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon, robbery with no firearm or deadly weapon, battery on a pregnant woman, DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, dealing of stolen property, burglary without assault, and exploitation of elderly greater than $10,000 but less than $50,000.
- Third-degree felony encompasses a broad range of crimes, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. Generally, examples include charges for child abuse and neglect, criminal mischief, drug possession (except for small amounts of marijuana), exploiting the elderly with less than $10,000, and many others. Some criminal traffic violations also fall into this category, such as driving with a suspended license, fleeing from a law enforcement officer, a 3rd DUI within ten years, or a DUI causing serious bodily injury. Third-degree felonies are the most common offenses committed here in Florida.
Consequences of a Criminal Record
In addition to incarceration and fines, a felony conviction has other life-long ramifications, depending on the nature of the crime. Having a conviction on a criminal record could impact several areas of a life, including the right to vote, the right to own a firearm, find gainful employment, and may even limit the ability to travel. Professionals may be unable to attain licensure. Parents could face the loss of child custody and visitation. Non-citizens may face hearings for deportation. A convicted offender may also be mandated to register as a sex offender, be exempt from admission to higher education, and have difficulty securing loans and housing options.
Alba & Straile, PLLC know the Florida Court System, the Prosecutors, and the Legal Process.
If you are being investigated or are arrested and charged with a felony crime, it is critical to contact our law firm as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys have represented countless defendants in courts throughout Florida since 2003. We know that every case is unique, and our focus is to work collaboratively with our clients. The most solid defenses are based on your case’s particular facts and nuances.
We represent clients in Gainesville, Ocala, and throughout Florida. We stand ready to defend against felony charges. Contact Alba & Straile, PLLC, to hire an experienced and trusted criminal defense attorney. Our telephones are answered 24 hours a day and we offer flexible appointment schedules to meet our client’s needs.