Misdemeanor charges are often viewed as minor criminal offenses that will only lead to a punishment of a small fine or community service. However, misdemeanor offenses can lead to serious repercussions, especially if the misdemeanor charge is not properly tended to. Additionally, it is important to know that a misdemeanor can go on your criminal record, withholding an adjudication of guilt is considered a conviction under federal law, the misdemeanor offense can be considered a first strike if you are a repeat offender, and you can face potential punishments of jail time or fines. Some of the most often prosecuted misdemeanor offenses in Florida are:
Orlando Misdemeanor Defense Attorney
Your best defense to a misdemeanor charge in Orange County is to hire an experienced criminal defense who will make every effort to help you receive the most desirable outcome for your situation. The attorney at Hale & Hale will help you determine the best plea to enter, and help you determine if it may be possible to have your charge dismissed. Contact the law office of Hale & Hale at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your misdemeanor offense today.
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Felony Charges vs. Misdemeanor Charges in Orange County
Misdemeanors are often considered less serious offenses than felonies, and usually result in the least harsh penalties. Punishment for felonies typically result in state prison sentences for more than one year, and misdemeanor convictions normally lead to jail sentences for one year or less in county jail. Misdemeanor fines are also lower than fines as a result of a felony conviction. However, habitual misdemeanor offenders can receive greater penalties than typical misdemeanor sentences.
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Habitual Misdemeanor Offenders
Florida law provides for a Habitual Misdemeanor Offender statute in Florida Statutes § 775.0837. A habitual misdemeanor offender is classified as someone who receives four or more misdemeanors within a specified time period. The misdemeanor offenses are required to be separate offenses and not part of the same criminal transaction, and the prior offenses were committed within one year of each other. Habitual offenders can be sentenced to mandatory imprisonment from six months to one year, mandatory commitment to a treatment program from six months to one year, or mandatory supervised detention from six months to one year.
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Classification and Penalties of Florida Misdemeanors
As defined in Florida Statutes § 775.081, misdemeanors can be can be in the first degree or the second degree. First degree misdemeanors are more serious than second degree misdemeanors, and a conviction can result in a jail sentence up to one year probation and/or fines not more than $1,000, according to Florida Statutes §§ 775.082 and 775.083. Second degree misdemeanor convictions can lead to imprisonment in jail for 60 days, probation and/or fines not exceeding $500.
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Eliminate Your Misdemeanor Criminal Record
Although a misdemeanor conviction will result in a criminal record, it does not have to be permanent. It is possible to have your criminal record sealed or expunged for many different types of misdemeanor charges. In order to seal or expunge your criminal record, you will have to meet minimal eligibility requirements, and the process can be long and tedious. If you are eligible to have your criminal misdemeanor record expunged, the court record of your misdemeanor offense will be destroyed, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will retain a copy of the record. However, the public and other governmental entities will not have access to the record. If you are eligible to seal your misdemeanor criminal record, certain government agencies will be allowed to access your criminal record for specific reasons, but the general public will not be able to see you were convicted of a criminal offense. Read more about criminal record sealing and expunction in Orange County, Florida.
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Hale & Hale, P.A. | Orlando Misdemeanor Defense Attorney
Contact the law office of Hale & Hale, P.A. to discuss your misdemeanor offense in Orlando, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Seminole County, Osceola County, Winter Park and Kissimmee. The attorneys at Hale & Hale will make every effort to help you avoid a criminal record, and try to find the most agreeable outcome for your misdemeanor offense. Contact Hale & Hale, P.A. at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your misdemeanor Orlando arrest in Orange County.