Being charged with a misdemeanor in Brevard County Florida is not something to take lightly. Many Floridians mistakenly believe that misdemeanors do not qualify as serious charges. Unfortunately, beyond the monetary fines and potential jail time that misdemeanor convictions carry, having a misdemeanor conviction on your record can have significant and long-term consequences on your ability to find employment, obtain a mortgage or a car loan, or own a gun, to name a few.
Understanding the charges you face and the possible penalties you could receive is critical, and hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is key to achieving the best possible outcome and avoiding potentially life-changing consequences as a result of a misdemeanor conviction.
Kontos Law is experienced in fighting misdemeanor charges in Melbourne Florida and is committed to helping you fight these charges. Call us for a confidential consultation where we will go over your charges with you, discuss all possible defense strategies, and fully explain all possible repercussions that you may be facing.
Which offenses qualify as misdemeanors in Florida depends upon the severity of the potential punishment. Misdemeanor charges are those that carry a maximum jail sentence of one year; a felony is any charge that is punishable by imprisonment of more than a year.
Keep in mind, however, that charges can be increased to felony level if an individual is charged with a number of misdemeanors. For example, ignoring multiple citations for speeding and parking violations can potentially lead to felony charges.
There are a wide range of misdemeanor charges in the state of Florida, and many of them have the potential to increase into felony charges for a variety of reasons. You can find the majority of misdemeanor charges in the state are outlined in the Florida Statute. Among the most common Florida misdemeanor charges that we defend are:
The penalties that you may face for a misdemeanor conviction in Florida depend on the class of the charge. Florida law establishes two classes of misdemeanor: first degree and second degree.
First degree misdemeanor charges in Florida carry a maximum possible punishment of up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000; second degree misdemeanors can be punished with as much as 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. Florida statute defines whether a misdemeanor is first or second degree. For example, reckless driving and simple battery are both first degree misdemeanors in the state, while loitering and simple trespass qualify as second degree misdemeanors.
The specific factors in an individual case can affect the potential penalties, however. A prior conviction for a similar crime or committing the offense at a particular location (such as a school or a church) can enhance the penalties faced.
Be aware that leaving the state when law enforcement has a warrant against you for a misdemeanor charge can, in rare cases, lead to your extradition back to the state.
As noted above, the penalties you may face for a misdemeanor conviction can be grave, and the system of pleading can be complicated. For example, many Floridians are tempted to enter a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) as part of a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence. However, if the judge chooses to enter an adjudication of conviction following a nolo contendere plea, your plea of no contest will become part of your permanent criminal record and cannot be sealed or expunged. This can have long-term consequences in a variety of areas of your life, from your employment potential to where you can live.
Hiring an attorney who is skilled in navigating the misdemeanor court system is essential for avoiding the most serious consequences of a misdemeanor conviction–and can potentially result in having the charges against you dismissed entirely.
If you or a loved one is facing one or multiple misdemeanor charges in Brevard County, call Kontos Law today! We will evaluate your case and discuss all of your option with you.