One of the most pervasive misconceptions that people have about criminal justice is that a misdemeanor is “no big deal.” Many accused of misdemeanors simply shrug and plead guilty, assuming they can pay a fine, do a little community service and forget about it without the need for a lawyer.
However, that belief is dead wrong. Misdemeanors can result in jail time, driver’s license suspension and other penalties. They also carry the lifelong consequence of having a conviction on your record. When you are asked on a job, school, housing or loan application if you’ve been convicted of a crime, you will have to answer “Yes.”
West Palm Beach Misdemeanor Lawyer
You may be able to avoid the troubling consequences of a misdemeanor conviction by hiring the services of an experienced West Palm Beach misdemeanor lawyer. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we represent people charged with any type of misdemeanor.
We will never treat any criminal charge as “no big deal.” Your case will have the full attention of one of our experienced partners. With supervision of the partners, our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys work diligently to achieve the best possible result in your case.
Call us at (561) 557-8686 to set up a free consultation. We represent people facing misdemeanor charges in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Broward County, including in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Juno Beach, Belle Glade, Lake Worth and Royal Palm Beach.
Overview of Misdemeanors in Florida
- Definition of a Misdemeanor Under Florida Law
- Punishment for Misdemeanors
- Finding the Best Attorney For Your Palm Beach County Misdemeanor Charge
A misdemeanor is defined in Florida Statutes Annotated § 775.08 as any crime punishable by a year or less confined in county correctional institute. It exclude traffic violations, which are a non-criminal matter.
Under Florida’s criminal laws, some misdemeanors include:
- Driving Under the Influence
- Possession of Less Than 20 Grams of Marijuana
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Disorderly Conduct
- Simple Assault
- Simple Battery
- Violation of a Protective Order
- Solicitation / Prostitution
- Criminal Trespass
- Criminal Mischief
- Petit Theft
A misdemeanor may be classified as either a second degree misdemeanor or a first degree misdemeanor, with a first degree misdemeanor being a more serious offense.
A second degree misdemeanor can result in jail time of up to 60 days, up to six months of probation and/or fines up to $500. A first degree misdemeanor carries penalties of up to a year in jail or on probation, and fines up to $3,000.
There are sometimes specific penalties to certain misdemeanors. For example, for a DUI, fines for a second degree misdemeanor double to up to $1,0000. DUIs, other traffic-related criminal offense and some drug charges may result in your driver’s license being suspended.
Any person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge is prohibited from carrying a firearms for the rest of his or her life.
It is important to remember that a misdemeanor is a criminal offense, and that, as a result, you will have a criminal record. The record will turn up on background checks, and you will have to account for it in job interviews, loan applications and in other situations, possible for the rest of your life.
In some cases, the prosecutor may agree to dismiss charges after you serve probation, do community service and pay necessary fines and fees. Those are deals that must be carefully worked out. Do not attempt to do anything without being represented by an experienced Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer.
There is no charge too small to not have significant consequences. If you face misdemeanor charges, you should act quickly to avoid the potential penalties. Have an experienced West Palm Beach misdemeanor lawyer from Meltzer & Bell, P.A. on your side. Call us today at (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free consultation with one of our partners.