Tampa Misdemeanor Attorney
Most Tampa residents have a general understanding that misdemeanor criminal offenses are less serious than felonies, but more serious than infractions, such as traffic tickets. While misdemeanor charges do not result in the same severe consequences as most felonies, misdemeanors should still be taken just as seriously, as there is no guarantee that you will avoid jail time or other punishment if you are convicted of a misdemeanor.
Tampa Misdemeanor Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. aggressively defends all criminal charges, regardless of whether the charge is an infraction, misdemeanor or felony. Marc A. Joseph, P.A. uses his experience, skill and devotion to advocate on behalf of his clients to help them stay out of jail and overcome their criminal charge in the most feasible way possible.
What Crimes are Considered Misdemeanors in Florida?
In Florida, a misdemeanor is any crime that is punishable by no more than one year in jail, and oftentimes, individuals charged with misdemeanors are able to avoid jail time entirely. Misdemeanor charges in Florida include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
- Marijuana possession (not more than 20 grams);
- Driving under the influence (DUI);
- Simple Battery;
- Simple Assault;
- Driving while license is suspended (DWLS);
- Disorderly conduct;
- Petit theft;
- Prostitution (as a first offense); and
While the above-listed crimes are in fact misdemeanors, it is important to understand that some of these misdemeanors could be considered felonies if other factors are involved. For example, if you have been charged with marijuana possession, the charge may be considered a felony if the amount in question is more than twenty (20) grams. Otherwise, if the amount in question is not more than twenty (20) grams, marijuana possession is considered a misdemeanor.
This same logic applies to a few of the other misdemeanor crimes listed above, such as assault. Assault alone is a misdemeanor, but if a deadly weapon and/or other more severe conduct is involved, the crime could be considered a felony. As such, no matter what the misdemeanor charge is, you should always be aware that any crime could be considered more serious depending on the individual facts of your case.
One key difference between felonies and misdemeanors in Florida that you should be aware of is that all misdemeanor charges are handled by Florida’s county courts, whereas, all felony charges are handled by Florida’s circuit courts. This is something unique to Florida, as many other states do not have different courts presiding over misdemeanor and felony charges. To have a better understanding of what a misdemeanor charge is and how an attorney can help you, you should consider speaking with Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer Marc A. Joseph, P.A. as soon as possible to discuss your pending criminal charge.
Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction in Florida
Depending on the severity of your misdemeanor charge, if you are ultimately convicted or plead guilty, you may be facing jail time, fines, probation, and the requirement to attend certain classes or rehabilitation, among other consequences, that are based upon the nature of the crime and the individual facts of the misdemeanor you have been charged with.
In Florida, the consequences for a misdemeanor conviction are determined by whether or not the misdemeanor in question is a first or second degree misdemeanor. For a first degree misdemeanor, if convicted, you could spend up to one year in county jail and pay up to $1,000 in fines. For a second degree misdemeanor, if convicted, you could spend up to sixty (60) days in county jail and pay up to $500 in fines.
The more serious the misdemeanor, the more likely it will be considered a first degree misdemeanor rather than a second degree misdemeanor. For example, misdemeanor marijuana possession is considered first degree while loitering is considered a second degree misdemeanor.
If you are able to avoid jail time with the help of Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A., you may be required to undergo a probationary period that could be up to one year as a consequence of the misdemeanor charge. You may also be required to attend drug and/or alcohol abuse classes for rehabilitative purposes if you are facing a DUI or marijuana possession charge. The requirement to perform community service is another potential consequence of a misdemeanor conviction.
Overall, it is not easy to get past a misdemeanor with absolutely no consequences, and this is something that many people do not fully realize. The only way to truly avoid consequences is to have the criminal charge dismissed. However, with the help of Tampa Misdemeanor Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A., no question will go unanswered and no concern will be ignored. It is of utmost importance to Marc A. Joseph, P.A. that you and your loved ones are receiving legal representation that stands out from the rest.
Defending Your Florida Misdemeanor Charge
First and foremost, Tampa Misdemeanor Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. will seek to have your misdemeanor charge dismissed if at all possible. For example, if your constitutional rights were violated as part of the arrest or interrogation process (such as the failure of the arresting officer to read you your Miranda rights), then there may be grounds to have your misdemeanor charge dismissed. If it is unlikely that your misdemeanor charge will be dismissed, then Marc A. Joseph, P.A. will work diligently to resolve your criminal matter in the most reasonable way possible.
Misdemeanor cases rarely go to trial because it is typically in everyone’s best interest to have the misdemeanor charge resolved outside the courtroom by negotiating with the prosecuting attorney. However, in the event there is a need to go to trial on your case, Marc A. Joseph, P.A. will be prepared to utilize his outstanding trial skills to provide you with the best defense possible to reach a verdict of not guilty. Marc A. Joseph, P.A. has extensive trial experience that he will apply to ensure your rights are being protected. While there are many skilled Tampa attorneys, courtroom experience is essential to providing clients with top quality legal representation.
Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. Today for a Free Consultation
Facing a misdemeanor charge in Florida can be very serious depending on the particular facts of your case. While misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies in Florida, the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction could follow you for years to come. If you or a loved one is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge, it is essential that you speak with a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney right away. Marc A. Joseph, P.A. is a Tampa-based criminal defense attorney with more than 15 years of experience defending the accused and working to protect his clients’ constitutional rights. Marc A. Joseph, P.A. utilizes all available resources to ensure each and every client receives outstanding legal representation. When facing any criminal charge, time is of the essence, and the sooner you contact Marc A. Joseph, P.A., the greater your chances are that you will be able to overcome your misdemeanor charge without facing severe consequences, such as jail time. To schedule your free consultation with Marc A. Joseph, P.A., contact our office today by calling (813) 234-6374.