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There are two main types of crimes in Florida: misdemeanors and felonies. Although a misdemeanor offense is not as serious in comparison to a felony, a misdemeanor conviction can still result in severe criminal penalties, including spending time in jail, costly fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. 

The two classes of misdemeanors in Florida include: 

  • First-degree misdemeanor – Punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 

  • Second-degree misdemeanor – Carries a maximum jail term of 60 days and/or a fine not exceeding $500 

In contrast, a felony conviction can lead to a state prison sentence for more than one year, instead of spending time in local or county jail for up to one year. In addition, being a convicted felon means losing certain rights, such as the right to possess and own a gun and the right to vote. 

The following are the felony classes in Florida: 

  • Capital felony – Punishable by either the death penalties or life imprisonment without parole 

  • Life felony – Carries a lifetime prison sentence and/or a maximum fine of $15,000 

  • First-degree felony – Punishable by imprisonment of up to 30 years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000 

  • Second-degree felony – Carries a maximum prison term of 15 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000 

  • Third-degree felony – Punishable by a maximum prison term of five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. 

If a person has two prior felony convictions and faces another felony within five years of the previous offense or committed a felony while incarcerated, getting convicted also results in being designated as a “habitual felony offender.” A felony conviction after being labeled a habitual felony offender carries double the maximum penalties. 

For instance, if you have been convicted of a second-degree felony and you are not a habitual offender, then you will face up to 15 years in prison. But if you are a habitual offender, a conviction can result in imprisonment for up to 30 years. 

There are also sentence enhancements for “prison releasee re-offenders” and “violent career criminals.” 

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony offense in Miami, call Mitchell & West LLC at (305) 783-3301 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule an initial consultation. We are ready to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom! 

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