Misdemeanors are typically less serious crimes as compared to felonies. Defendants can expect jail time, smaller fines, and shorter punishment. However, misdemeanor charges can quickly turn into felonies if the accused has prior convictions and a criminal record. Typical offenses include:
Such offenses are considered more critical than infractions and typically punishable with a 12 months’ or less jail term and possibly, a fine depending on the nature of the case.
Any cases against a child in the state of Florida are tried in a court presided only by a judge without a jury present. Exceptions to the rule include the possibility of a direct filed case when the juvenile is tried in an adult court. When a child is arrested, the court may choose to transfer them to a detention center. Or, permit the defendant to go home with their parents and appear when ordered. Some of the juvenile offenses include:
- Violating curfew
- Underage possession or consumption of tobacco or alcohol
- Possession of marijuana or any other illegal substances
Punishments for juvenile offenses can include low-risk programs, moderate-risk programs, high-risk programs, and juvenile prison for 18 to 36 months.
The state of Florida defines theft as the act of knowingly taking or using another person’s property without permission. Obtaining property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner’s right temporarily or permanently is also considered theft. This offense can be categorized as petty theft and grand theft.
- Thefts of property valued at $30,000 or more are considered grand thefts or first-degree felonies and carry a punishment of up to 30 years in prison with a maximum fine of $10,000.
- If the value of the stolen property is $300 or more but less than $750, the offense is considered a misdemeanor.
- A record of similar crimes can result in a petty theft being considered a felony.
Sexual crimes in Florida carry some of the harshest of punishments. The seriousness of the charges depends on factors such as:
- Age of the victim
- Age of the offender
- Any other aggravating circumstances
Punishment for sex offenses varies according to the crime. For instance:
- Probation for a first-time offender for solicitation of prostitution that is considered a misdemeanor
- Up to 15 years’ imprisonment for lewd or lascivious battery
- Prison terms ranging from 11 years to life for aggravated sexual battery where the victim is above 12 years
- Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for sexual battery on a child below 12 years if the defendant is above 18 years
The court can award probation to any person and order them to be released from detention under supervision, if they show good behavior. However, in case the person violates the terms of the probationary punishment, they must face severe penalties. Probation can be technical or substantive. Technical violations can include:
- Failing to pass a drug test
- Failing to pay the court fees
- Failing to show up for the mandatory probation meeting
- Failing to complete the rehabilitation program
Substantive violations can include committing a new crime while under probation for an existing offense. The court may choose to revoke the probation and order imprisonment.
Domestic violence incidents are defined by the state of Florida as specified acts of violence committed against a member of the family or household. The minimum penalty is a five days’ prison term. However, if the charges are combined with assault and battery, a domestic assault conviction can result in extended jail time. Some of the offenses included in household violence include:
- Sexual assault
Domestic violence charges can be for crimes committed against a current or ex-spouse, persons who are currently or were formerly living together as a family, or persons who share a child, whether or not they are now or were once married.
Loitering and Prowling Offenses
The law does not permit any person to loiter or prowl in a place or time, displaying behavior that is unusual for a citizen respecting the law. Any law enforcement officer may stop a person if they have reason to believe that the person in question can be a potential threat to peace and security to other people or property in the area. Here are some of the typical reasons for such charges:
- Running away on sighting the police officer
- Refusing to provide identification
- Attempting to hide or conceal objects
- Refusing the leave the area when asked to
Loitering and prowling offenses are considered misdemeanors of the second degree and can be punished accordingly.
Robbery is a felony offense and can be categorized as first, second, or third-degree carrying different punishments according to the severity of the crime.
- Sudden snatching typically includes pickpocketing or grabbing purses and falls under the third-degree offense category. Such crimes are punishable by a prison term or probation terms of up to 5 years.
- Robbery by force is when the act accompanies some kind of violence and harms the victim. Such offenses are considered second-degree and carry a sentence of a maximum of 15 years in prison or probation.
- Robbery with a deadly weapon is when a weapon is used to threaten or harm the victim and take away their possessions. Such cases are considered first-degree felonies with the possibility of a maximum 30-year prison term.
While a single DUI may not be the end of the world, multiple DUI offenses can lead to thousands of dollars in fines, a lifetime revocation of your license, and years served in prison. However, a first-time DUI is still no laughing matter. A single DUI charge can result in up to:
- Fines up to $1,000
- 180 days license revocation
- Mandatory DUI interlock program (up to $110/mo)
- 6 months in prison
In addition, a DUI charge can have a sever impact on your personal and professional life. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Smith & Eulo Law Firm to review your criminal case. We can represent you in the Ocala court system, and craft the best possible defense for your situation.
Assault and Battery
While assault and battery charges are often grouped together, there is a clear distinction between the two. If the offender has physically touched the victim, the act is considered battery and an additional battery charge is usually added to a simple assault charge. The penalties for assault and battery could be up to:
- $10,000 in fines
- 15 years imprisonment
- Additional anger management/physical offender classes
Assualt and battery charges are no laughing matter. If you have been charged with assault, battery, or a combination of both, contact Smith and Eulo Law Firm for a free initial case consultation. We work to tell your side of the story, and present your defense clearly so the Ocala courts can make an informed decision.
Drug crimes can be anything from a simple possession of marijuana charge, to a life-changing charge of trafficking a Schedule I narcotic. In some instances, offenders can even be labeled a drug kingpin, bringing on more severe penalties. The penalties for the most severe drug crimes can include:
- Life imprisonment
- $500,000 in fines
- Mandatory substance abuse programs
If you are charged with a drug crime, Smith and Eulo Law Firm is here to defend you. Our Ocala defense lawyers can represent you in the court of law, and present your case in a way that proves a reasonable doubt in the minds of your peers.