Sarasota & Tampa Felony Defense Attorneys
Felony Frequently Asked Questions
What is a felony? A felony is criminal offense which is punishable, at the very least, by more than one year in a Florida state prison. Felonies are the most serious types of crimes and carry the heaviest penalties. They are classified into degrees according to the type of crime and the punishment an offender may face.
What can I do if I’m accused of a felony? If you are accused of a felony, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. A lawyer will be able to protect your rights and help you avoid a long prison sentence.
What are some common felonies in Florida? Murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, sex crimes, assault and battery, grand theft and internet sex crimes are all felonies.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor? Felonies and misdemeanors are classified according to their potential punishment. A felony typically carries a penalty of at least one year in state prison and/or fines; a misdemeanor is punished by less than one year in county jail and/or fines.
What sort of penalties can I expect when I’m facing a felony charge? That will depend upon the classification of your crime and the specific circumstances of your case. However, a criminal defense attorney may be able to work out alternative sentencing or may help you get your case dismissed altogether.
Am I given the right to a trial before a jury? Yes, you are generally given the right to a trial before a jury in Florida courts.
Can I represent myself? You may represent yourself, but this is not recommended because felony charges and trials are complex and require a professional who can protect your interests. That is where a criminal defense attorney comes in.
What is a Capital felony? A capital felony is a crime which is punishable by death. Particularly violent and harmful crimes are usually categorized as capital felonies (such as murder).
What are the different degrees of felonies? Florida recognizes several degrees of felony offenses: Capital felony, punishable by death; Life felony, punishable by a lifetime in prison; 1st degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison; 2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.