If you’ve been charged with a felony in Florida, you know the accusations you face are serious. Jail or prison time, large fines, and parole are just a few of the consequences that may come with a conviction. A felony record may interfere with your ability to get or keep a job, finish school, or participate in many other life activities that those without felony records take for granted.
Facing a felony charge in Florida can feel overwhelming, but you do not have to do it alone – and you shouldn’t try. Working with a Florida felony defense attorney will help you build the strongest possible case on your behalf and protect your legal rights to the fullest possible extent. At Farah & Farah, we’re dedicated to providing aggressive representation in all types of Florida felonies.
What is a Felony in Florida?
In Florida, a “felony” is any crime punishable by more than one year of imprisonment, typically in a state prison. Felonies are generally considered more serious crimes than misdemeanors, which are punishable by one year of imprisonment or less, typically in a county jail.
Florida classifies felonies by degree. There are five degrees of felonies in Florida:
- Third Degree: A felony in the third degree is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
- Second Degree: A felony in the second degree is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- First Degree: A felony in the first degree is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Life: A life felony is punishable by 40 years to life in prison and $15,000 in fines.
- Capital: A capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole.
In all felonies, a convicted person may also be required to pay restitution to the victim or victims, if ordered to do so by the court.
When a person is convicted of a felony in Florida, the court uses a “criminal punishment code” (CPC) sheet, also known as a “score sheet,” to help determine what the sentence will be. Points are added or subtracted depending on particular aggravating or mitigating factors, plus the nature of the underlying felony. The resulting score determines whether the convicted person must be sentenced to a minimum prison term or whether the judge has leeway not to send the person to prison.
In addition to imprisonment, fines, and restitution, a person convicted of a felony in Florida may face consequences like:
- loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote;
- loss of eligibility to hold public office, hold certain jobs, or receive state or federal aid;
- loss, suspension, or denial of professional licenses;
- suspension or revocation of drivers’ license; and
- inability to get hired, rent an apartment, or participate in other basic life events.
At Farah & Farah, our Jacksonville felony defense attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the best possible results for each client we represent. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today at 855-797-9899.