There were 668,642 adults arrested in Florida in 2016. There were 57,852 minors arrested in Florida in 2016. The majority of these arrests were not for murder, aggravated assault, or other felonies. The majority of these arrests are for various types of misdemeanors.
Misdemeanors are often regarded as less serious, less important, and less worthy of expert criminal defense than felonies. This is not the case. Misdemeanors are serious criminal charges that demand nothing but the best legal representation available.
We have put together this page as a resource for South Florida and Miami misdemeanor defense information. We will explore what misdemeanors are, the different types of crimes that qualify as misdemeanors, sentencing guidelines, and more.
What is a Misdemeanor?
The first question we need to answer is just what a misdemeanor is. Misdemeanors are not crimes against life. Usually, they are punishable by fines and up to a year in county jail. Felonies may land someone in state or federal prison. Misdemeanor trials are conducted in the lowest local courts, such as municipal, justice, or police courts.
This means that misdemeanors are criminal offenses that are less grievous, legally speaking, than felonies, but more serious than infractions. Misdemeanors often carry jail time and fines with them, but not prison time.
Florida misdemeanors are divided into two classes: first and second-degree misdemeanors. These classes are unique due to their sentencing and fine guidelines, which we will explore in depth below.
A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by no more than one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by no more than sixty days in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.
All misdemeanor offenses in Florida are handled at the county level, rather than the state. While handled at the county level, misdemeanors still carry a criminal record with them. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, regardless of the type or classification, act proactively. Contact us now for expert Miami misdemeanor defense attorney representation.
Types of Misdemeanors
Now that we have explored what a misdemeanor is, and the Florida-specific classes of misdemeanor, it is time to explore the different types. We have broken the list down to first and second-degree offenses.
Different types of second-degree misdemeanors include:
- Disorderly conduct
- Disorderly intoxication
- Reckless driving
- Criminal mischief (less than $200 in damage)
- Simple trespass
- Simple assault
- Petit theft (for a first offense)
- No valid driver’s license
- Driving on a suspended license with knowledge (for a first offense)
Different types of first-degree misdemeanors include:
- Criminal mischief (between $200 and $1,000 in damage)
- Domestic violence
- Boating under the influence
- Marijuana possession (of less than twenty grams)
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Petit theft (for a second offense)
- Shoplifting (of under $300)
- Solicitation of prostitution
- Driving on a suspended license with knowledge (for a second offense)
It is important to remember that there are many more types of misdemeanor offenses in Florida. Consult an attorney for a complete list and for your legal options.
Miami Misdemeanor Sentencing
Florida state statutes 775.081, 775.082, and 775.083 govern both the classification of misdemeanors in Florida and the consequences’. The punishments vary greatly, depending on factors like prior charges, individual situations, the presence of intoxicants, and more. These make each case unique and subject to unique fines and/or sentencing.
This is one more reason that requesting a personal consultation with a Miami misdemeanor defense lawyer is so important. Not only will they be able to offer insight and guidance for your unique situation, but they will be able to give you a fuller understanding of sentencing guidelines.
Our experienced and dedicated misdemeanor defense attorney team is here to help. We are experts in all types of Florida misdemeanors. We have represented hundreds of clients in the past and can represent you too. Contact us today for a free consultation.