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Fort Myers criminal defense lawyers explain the differences between a Florida felony and misdemeanor

If you have been arrested and charged with a Florida crime, you are facing incarceration, fines, and other penalties. Regardless of whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, early intervention by a knowledgeable and experienced Fort Myers criminal defense lawyer will be critical to protecting your rights and obtaining the most favorable outcome in your case.

What is a felony?

In Florida, a felony is any crime that carries a penalty of more than one year in a state prison. The State of Florida recognizes the following “degrees” or classes of felonies:

  • A first-degree felony (e.g., murder; home invasion robbery) is the most serious of crimes. A first degree felony is a punishable by up to 30 years in prison, 30 years’ probation, and a $10,000 fine.
  • A second-degree felony (e.g., manslaughter ) is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years’ probation, and a $10,000 fine.
  • A third-degree felony (e.g., aggravated assault; trespass when carrying a firearm or other dangerous weapon; possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana) is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years’ probation, and a $5,000 fine.
  • A capital felony (e.g., premeditated murder) is a crime punishable by death, or life in prison without parole.

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What is a misdemeanor?

Simply put, a misdemeanor is any crime that is not a felony. More specifically, any crime that is punishable by up to one year in county jail, one year of probation, or a fine of up to $1,000 is a misdemeanor. Common examples of Florida misdemeanors include DUI (first offense), driving with a suspended license, petit theft, domestic assault/battery, and disorderly conduct.

Contact Fort Myers criminal defense lawyers

The Fort Myers defense lawyers are experienced in handling the entire spectrum of Florida criminal charges. If you would like our counsel, please use the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to tell us about your situation, or call or email us directly.

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