What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

Posted By Shepard Law || 5-Oct-2012

In Florida, a Misdemeanor is a criminal offense with maximum possible sentence of up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Conversely, a Felony is defined as any criminal offense that is pushable by more than a year incarceration and a fine greater than $1,000.

Misdemeanors

There are two classes of Misdemeanors in Florida. A Second-Degree Misdemeanor is the lowest degree criminal offense that can be charged the state of Florida. The maximum sentence for a Second-Degree Misdemeanor criminal offense is 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. Examples of commonly charged Second Degree Misdemeanor criminal offenses in the Panama City area are:

  1. Disorderly conduct
  2. Assault
  3. Loitering and prowling
  4. Minor in possession of alcohol

A First-Degree Misdemeanor is a criminal offense with the maximum possible sentence does not exceed a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Following are examples frequently charged First-Degree Misdemeanor criminal offenses in the Panama City area:

  1. Battery (simple)
  2. Possession of marijuana less than 20 grams
  3. Resisting a law enforcement officer without violence
  4. Violation of injunction (domestic violence)

Felonies

There are several classes of felonies in Florida. The lowest degree felony criminal offense is a Third-Degree Felony. A Third-Degree Felony criminal offense is punishable by up to five years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Examples of commonly charged Third-Degree Criminal Offenses in the Panama City area are:

  1. Possession of a controlled substance
  2. Grand theft
  3. Dealing in stolen property
  4. Tampering with evidence

A Second-Degree Felony criminal offense is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Frequently alleged Second-Degree criminal offenses in Panama City include:

  1. Sale of a prescription drug
  2. Burglary of an occupied dwelling
  3. DUI manslaughter
  4. Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
  5. Unlawful sexual activity

First-Degree Felony criminal offenses may be punished by up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. First-Degree Felony criminal offenses charged in the Panama City area include:

  1. Home invasion robbery
  2. Aggravated child abuse
  3. Carjacking with a deadly weapon (no firearm)
  4. Robbery with a weapon (no firearm)

A First-Degree Felony Punishable By Life ("PBL") is a criminal offense that may be punished by a maximum term of imprisonment for life. Examples of First-Degree Felony Punishable By Life that are charged in Panama City include:

  1. Burglary with assault or battery
  2. Carjacking with a firearm
  3. Robbery with a firearm

A Capital Felony is a criminal offense that is subject to the death penalty. The only Capital Felony offense in Florida is First-Degree Capital Murder.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or are wanted for questioning by law enforcement, call Shepard Law's 24/7 hotline now for a free consultation.

Shepard Law
2612-B W. 15th St.
Panama City, FL 32401
tel: 850/215-5200