When a crime will not result in more than one year in jail, federal and Florida State courts classify it as a misdemeanor. Like felonies, there are degrees of misdemeanors and each degree carries unique penalties. The most serious, first degree misdemeanors, may result in up to a year in jail. Second degree misdemeanors have lower penalties and have a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail.
Driving under the influence is a very common misdemeanor, these are unique in their penalties depending on whether you are facing your first charge or whether you have already had previous DUI charges. The vast majority of misdemeanors are tried in State courts and it is important to have a lawyer help you if you are facing a trial or wish to avoid one.
Among the most frequent misdemeanor offenses are minor possession of marijuana, drivers license infractions, domestic violence, simple assault and battery, small theft, prostitution, and the previously mentioned DUI. Misdemeanor offenses need not result in you serving jail time. With pretrial diversion programs, intervention programs, and other available remedies, our attorneys are here to help you examine all of your options and help negotiate the best possible result with the State. Avoiding a conviction is optimal, because even though only a misdemeanor, these convictions will remain on your record and cannot be sealed or expunged.
Be sure that you have counsel even if you are faced with something that you consider a small crime. When it comes to your freedom, there are no small crimes. Schedule an appointment with the lawyers at Berman & Tsombanakis to see how our experience as former Assistant Public Defenders may be put to use in your case.