Misdemeanor Crimes in Florida
What is a Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is any criminal offense that is punishable by less than one year in jail.
In Florida, misdemeanor offenses are handled at the County Court level and are considered less serious crimes than felony offenses.
Examples of common misdemeanors are:
- Domestic Violence Battery
- Disorderly Conduct
- Driving on a Suspended License (DWLS)
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Loitering and Prowling
- Marijuana Possession (Cannabis Possession)
- Petit (Petty) Theft
- First Offense Prostitution; and
- Resisting an Officer without Violence
Don't Go it Alone!
You may feel that going before a judge on a misdemeanor will only result in a small fine or a slap on your wrist, but you should consider that:
- Withholding Adjudication of Guilt is still a conviction under Federal law
- A misdemeanor will go on your criminal record,
- If placed on probation, you could face jail if you violate,
- An attorney might have been able to get the case dismissed.
And even though a misdemeanor conviction will not result in the loss of your civil rights, there is the possibility of jail if you appear without an attorney.
More likely though, some judges adjudicate (convict) first-time offenders guilty of a misdemeanor; even though that same person would have received a Withhold of Adjudication if they had hired a criminal defense attorney to represent them. Fair; No. Reality; yes.
A misdemeanor offense is a crime punishable by:
- One year in jail,
- One year of probation, or
- $1,000 fine
Will I have a Criminal Record?
Many people facing misdemeanor charges are the type of people who rarely get in trouble and for whom the thought of being arrested and having a criminal record is both embarrassing and disturbing.
Luckily, it is possible to have your arrest record cleared at a later date by either:
However, the manner in which your case is initially handled may affect your eligibility to later clear your record. Please visit the sealing or expunging section for more information on the necessary criteria.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
If you have been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor crime in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.