Florida law categorizes crimes into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors, with felonies being more serious. Many people think that because misdemeanors are less severe, they don’t need to seek help from a criminal defense attorney in Melbourne. However, it is important to realize that a misdemeanor conviction can still have serious and lasting consequences, so you should always put forth the most effective defense possible to avoid a conviction whenever possible.
The following are some possible penalties for a misdemeanor conviction in Florida:
● First-degree misdemeanors – $1000 fine and up to one year in jail
● Second-degree misdemeanors – $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail
Any jail sentence can completely disrupt your life, as you will likely lose your job and suffer personal consequences, as well. The fines, court costs, and possible restitution you may face can wreak havoc on your finances. Even if the court gives you probation instead of jail time, the terms of probation can be strict and can affect your finances and freedom.
A misdemeanor conviction will also go on your permanent record. Many employers have policies not to hire anyone with any criminal record, including misdemeanor convictions. In addition, once you have one conviction, it can increase the penalties for any future convictions. For example, petit theft – theft under $300 – is a second-degree misdemeanor as a first offense. However, for a second offense, prosecutors can issue first-degree misdemeanor charges, which can mean substantially more serious consequences. It is important to avoid a first conviction whenever you can, so it is important to have the right defense representation.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Melbourne, Florida Today
At Harnage Law Firm, we defend against all types of criminal charges. If you were arrested, call a Melbourne criminal defense attorney at 321.549.7886 or contact us online for free today.