Some of the most common examples of misdemeanors our Broward County criminal defense attorneys see include:
A misdemeanor in Florida is any crime punishable by up to a year in the county jail. Florida law recognizes two different types of misdemeanors. First degree misdemeanors punishable up to the full year in the county jail or $1,000 fine and second degree misdemeanors punishable up to 60 days in jail, a fine of $500, and/or six months of probation. In Florida, judges often impose sentencing using a combination of the available punishments. For example, a judge may sentence you to 30 days in jail, followed by six months of probation, a $250 fine, and court costs for a simple misdemeanor offense.
Your attorney should attempt to negotiate a plea bargain, get the charges dismissed or reduced, or even obtain a not guilty, depending on the circumstances. Although misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, a conviction could have a tremendous impact on your life. For example, you could lose your job or become unemployable, and you might even spend time in jail. Depending on your prior criminal record and other factors, your attorney may be able get you into a diversionary program, such as Drug Court or special traffic programs.
Some crimes are misdemeanors the first or second time you are convicted, but repeat offenses may lead to felony charges with prison sentences exceeding a year. For example, a DUI charge is a misdemeanor in Florida the first two times but the third or more convictions can result in you being charged with a felony. Additionally, there are aggravating factors as well, such as blood alcohol of over 0.15, serious bodily injury, or DUI manslaughter.
Your attorney may be able to get your misdemeanor conviction expunged (removed from your record) or sealed if you do not have a prior criminal record. Expungement can prevent future employers, for instance, from ever knowing about the one time you got into trouble.
A DUI is a serious offense that can have lifelong consequence, effecting employment, insurance as well as your driving privileges.
The State of Florida has the burden of proving the allegations beyond and to the exclusion of any and all doubt.