Helping Florida Clients in Need
Felony offenses are any charges for which the judge may sentence the offender to state prison. Felonies are classified by the maximum sentence which can be imposed. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years, second-degree felonies up to 15 years, and first-degree felonies by up to 30 years. Life and capital offenses are self-explanatory. Sentences in felony cases are determined by the sentencing guidelines standards established by the Florida Legislature. Of utmost importance, alongside thoroughly investigating your case, is to avoid a felony conviction. Convicted felons not only lose their civil rights, but also severely restrict their future employment options and their ability to obtain credit. Heyman Law Firm wants to help you save your future – call our St. Petersburg felony defense attorney for aggressive legal representation.
What's the Difference Between a Misdemeanor & Felony?
Most criminal offenses are classified into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are crimes that are almost always less serious than felonies and as a result, have less serious penalties. Misdemeanors don't involve preliminary hearings, meaning that those accused only need to face a judge and are sentenced without a trial. Some examples of misdemeanor offenses in Florida include shoplifting, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and driving under the influence.
Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious offenses that result in penalties like fines and time in jail or state prison. When you're convicted of a felony, you also lose certain rights.
Rights that convicted felons lose include:
- Civil rights like the right to vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, and the ability to access real estate and insurance licenses
- The right to possess firearms, ammunition, or explosives
Felony Crimes in Florida
Depending on the nature and severity of the crime committed, punishment for felonies can range between one year in jail to the death penalty, and fines can be anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000.
Some examples of offenses that can be considered felony crimes in Florida include:
- Battery, which can include battery on a police officer and aggravated battery
- Child abuse
- Drug possession
- Felony DUI
- Grand theft
- Domestic violence
- Homicide or murder
- Sex crimes, such as sexual battery, molestation, and rape
The Florida legislature divides these crimes into five categories of felonies, though certain drug crimes are separated into their own category.
Felony of the Third Degree
Defendants convicted may be fined up to $5,000 and receive time in state prison not exceeding five years, and they may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution. Some crimes that fall under this category include burglary, cocaine possession, resisting arrest with violence, and a third DUI.
Felony of the Second Degree
Punishment for these convictions includes time in state prison not exceeding 15 years and fines of up to $10,000. Additionally, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution. These offenses can include sexual battery, child abuse, aggravated battery with a weapon, and possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell.
Felony of the First Degree
These felonies involve serious crimes like DUI manslaughter, first-degree homicide, human trafficking, and robbery with a weapon. Penalties include imprisonment not exceeding 30 years and fines of up to $10,000.
Life Felonies & Capital Felonies
Life felonies can result in prison sentences from 40 years to life and fines of up to $15,000. Crimes are usually violent crimes like kidnapping, accomplice to murder, unpremeditated murder, robbery with a firearm, and more. Capital felonies are punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole. Capital felonies usually involve murder, armed kidnapping, and capital drug trafficking.
If you've been charged with a felony offense, our team can offer you options and secure the evidence you need to come to a fair resolution. Call our St. Petersburg felony defense attorney at (727) 822-3700.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Florida
All states have their own statutes that break down the penalties for drug offenses based on the type of drug and quantity involved. In Florida, drug trafficking is a first-degree felony and carries mandatory sentences.
Prescription Drug Trafficking
Notable prescription drugs that are trafficked include oxycodone, hydromorphone, heroin, opium, and morphine. Between 4 and 14 grams typically results in three years in prison and a $50,000 fine, while buying or selling 60 grams or more may result in life imprisonment or even be subject to the death penalty.
Marijuana Drug Trafficking
You may be accused of drug trafficking for marijuana is you grow, sell, or distribute more than 25 pounds of marijuana, or if you control more than 300 plants.
Mandatory penalties include:
- Between 25 and 2,000 pounds: Three years in prison, $25,000 fine
- Between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds: Seven years in prison, $50,000 fine
- Over 10,000 pounds: 15 years in prison, $200,000 fine
Amphetamine & Methamphetamine Trafficking
Mandatory sentences include three years in prison and a $50,000 fine for having between 14 and 28 grams, while having 200 grams or more can result in 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 400 grams or more may be subject to the death penalty.
Some mandatory penalties for the possession or importation of cocaine include, at minimum for having between 28 and 200 grams of cocaine, three years in prison and a $25,000 fine, while between 400 and 150 kilograms can result in 15 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
Our St. Petersburg drug trafficking attorney has defended the rights of the accused for decades and can help you when you call. Contact us today for trial-ready service at (727) 822-3700.
Consult Our Felony Defense Lawyer Today
Because Florida's criminal statutes are complicated to understand and often change, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney who remains updated on state laws and has demonstrated experience helping clients who have been accused. Don't take a chance on your freedom and reputation by defending yourself – call us to learn more about how we can help you navigate the legal system.