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Misdemeanor vs. Felony: Understanding the Difference in Florida

Cassandra Jude - October 18, 2023 - 0 comments

If you’ve found your way to this blog, chances are you or someone you know might be facing criminal charges here in the beautiful state of Florida. Whether it’s here in Fort Myers or anywhere else in the Sunshine State, the legal system can be quite a maze. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate it all.

Let’s dive into an essential topic: the difference between misdemeanors and felonies in Florida. These distinctions can have a big impact on the consequences you might face, so let’s break it down.

Misdemeanors: Lesser Offenses

Misdemeanors are like the smaller, less serious cousins of criminal charges. They come in two varieties: first-degree and second-degree.

First-Degree Misdemeanors: These are the more severe misdemeanors. They can result in up to a year in jail, probation, fines up to $1,000, or a combination of these penalties. Examples include simple assault, petty theft (when the value of the stolen property is less than $750), and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) for the first time.

Second-Degree Misdemeanors: These are less serious and carry a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Some common examples include disorderly conduct, simple trespassing, and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

Now, what about felonies? Well, they’re in the big leagues of criminal charges.

Felonies: The Serious Stuff

Felonies are the more serious criminal offenses and come in several varieties, as well: first, second, and third-degree, along with life felonies and capital felonies.

First-Degree Felonies: These are the most severe crimes and can lead to life-changing consequences. Punishments may include up to 30 years or more in prison, probation, and fines up to $10,000. Examples of first-degree felonies are armed robbery, drug trafficking, and manslaughter.

Second-Degree Felonies: Still quite serious, second-degree felonies can result in up to 15 years in prison and hefty fines. Examples include aggravated assault, burglary, and grand theft.

Third-Degree Felonies: These felonies can land you in prison for up to 5 years and cost you up to $5,000 in fines. Common third-degree felony charges include certain drug possession offenses, grand theft auto, and resisting arrest with violence.

So, here’s the deal – both misdemeanors and felonies can land you in either jail or prison. It all depends on how bad the offense is and a bunch of other stuff.

Misdemeanors usually mean you might do some time in jail, but it’s usually not more than a year. Felonies, though, are the real deal. They often come with prison sentences, and those can stretch beyond a year, depending on how serious the crime is.

But here’s the tricky part – some felonies might not get you a super long prison stay, and some misdemeanors could still put you behind bars for a bit. It all depends on the specifics of your case.

The bottom line is, whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony, Attorney Cassandra Jude is here to help. She’ll be your legal champion and work hard to get you the best possible outcome based on your unique situation. So, don’t hesitate to reach out – she’s got your back!

How Attorney Jude Can Help

Now that you’ve got a better grasp of the differences between misdemeanors and felonies, you might be wondering how Attorney Cassandra Jude can assist you if you’re facing charges.

For misdemeanors, she can help you build a strong defense, negotiate with prosecutors, and aim for reduced charges, lower fines, or alternative sentencing options like probation or diversion programs.

For felonies, she can provide you with experienced representation in court, work to have charges reduced or dismissed, and advocate for the best possible outcome in your case. Cassandra understands the intricacies of Florida’s criminal justice system, has helped so many local Fort Myers residents and people all over Florida and will fight vigorously to protect your rights and your future.

Remember, facing criminal charges can be a challenging and stressful experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Attorney Cassandra Jude is here to guide you every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the final resolution of your case, you will meet with her one-on-one, not meet with only paralegals and legal assistants like with many larger firms.

So, if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in South Florida, especially in Fort Myers or anywhere else in the state, reach out to Attorney Cassandra Jude. The personalized experience you get working with her in a boutique-style firm will bring you so much peace of mind. And with her experience and dedication, you’ll have a strong advocate in your corner, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you or your loved one’s situation. Give her a call today at 239-933-1838.

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