Florida First-Degree Misdemeanor Charges
In Florida, crimes are divided into misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanor offenses are less severe than felonies, but create many of the same obstacles as felony offenses. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you may face jail time, large fines, community service, counseling, or rehabilitation. Misdemeanor charges are written to include various factors, including loss that may have occurred, physical harm, and motivation.
A misdemeanor is a serious criminal matter that will open up a criminal record. It may be considered in the future if you are again charged with a crime, and may lead to further challenges when preparing a strong defense. It is always in your best interest to consult an Orlando defense attorney experienced in resolving first-degree misdemeanor cases. Attorney William D. Umansky is skilled in representing those facing criminal charges.
What Are First-Degree Misdemeanors?
First-degree misdemeanors are the most misdemeanor crimes. Those convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor can be punished by up to one year in jail and/or fined up to $1,000. Some of the most common examples of first-degree misdemeanors are:
- Disorderly conduct
- Marijuana possession
- Indecent exposure
- Shoplifting and petit theft
- Driving with a suspended license
Disorderly conduct crimes are punished according to the jurisdiction where the accused committed the crime. This crime can also be charged as a felony with harsher penalties. Punishment for disorderly conduct as a first-degree misdemeanor can be community service, counseling, or jail time. Community service allows the offender to give back to the community they disrupted, while counseling will help emphasize the seriousness of their actions on a personal level. Court officials may also order the individual to stay away from specific areas.
Some courts even offer diversion programs. If completed successfully, a judge may expunge the crime from the offender’s criminal record. If a judge or jury sentences the offender to jail time, they may consider the person’s criminal history at sentencing.
Florida has some of the strictest laws regarding drinking and driving. A DUI conviction comes with serious consequences like jail time and large fines. An individual is considered to be driving under the influence in Florida when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or above.
A person’s second DUI conviction within 5 years of the first is a first-degree misdemeanor. The driver could face up to a $1,000 fine. If their BAC was .15 or higher, they could receive up to a $2,000 fine. They could also face up to nine months in jail and have their license suspended for 180 days.
A court may order the driver to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least one year. These devices require the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the car.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in Florida. The crime classification of marijuana possession can be confusing, but a drug offense attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the charge. Florida Statute 893.13 defines single possession or delivery of marijuana under 20 grams as a first-degree misdemeanor. Having drug paraphernalia like pipes, bongs, or grinders is also a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute 893.145. Penalties for possession or use include jail time up to one year, fines up to $1,000, or both.
Prostitution offenses can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on whether the person accused has been convicted of a previous prostitution charge. A second prostitution offense is a first-degree misdemeanor and may bring up to a year in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both. If convicted, you may have to take an AIDS class or have mandatory HIV testing done. In addition to a criminal charge, you can also face a civil charge with a $5,000 civil penalty.
Indecent exposure is a serious crime with harsh penalties. A first-degree misdemeanor conviction can result in a year in prison, large fines, or both. Some offenders may even have to complete probation. Also, “Exposure of Sexual Organs” will appear on the offender’s criminal record, which may prevent future employment opportunities.
Shoplifting and Petit Theft
If you’re accused of shoplifting or stealing merchandise valued between $100 to $750, then you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This crime carries the same consequences as other first-degree misdemeanor charges: up to a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail, or both. However, you may also face civil penalties from the store or the merchant. Civil penalties may include fines between $200 and $1,000.
Driving with a Suspended License with Knowledge
The state of Florida has strict laws regarding driving without a license with knowledge, and many residents do not understand the severity of this act. If someone knowingly drives with a suspended license, they may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you may face jail time or large fines. Depending on other factors, you may even lose your license for a period of time.
Contact the Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm
If you or a loved one is charged with a first-degree misdemeanor in Central Florida, you must speak with an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm will fight for your case and will not give up until the best possible situation for your case is achieved. Our team of legal professionals has experience as former Florida state prosecutors, so you can be confident your future is in the right hands.
To learn more about our practice areas, call our office or complete our online contact form. We’ll fight for you!