What is The Difference Between a Misdemeanor Charge and a Felony Charge?

misdemeanor charge is a minor criminal charge. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor offense is one year in the county jail (usually a facility located within the county where the Defendant is sentenced).
Examples of misdemeanors are:

  • Assaultcriminal lawyer Ft  Pierce2
  • Battery
  • DUI (1st or 2nd Offense)
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting/Petit Theft
  • Driving on Suspended License
  • Possession of Marijuana (under 20 grams)
  • Possession of Paraphernalia

felony charge is one for which a person may be sentenced to serve a period of time in the State Penitentiary/Prison. This sentence can vary from year and one day up to life, depending upon the charge. Some felony charges carry with them the potential of a sentence of death. A person convicted/adjudicated of a felony, whether prison time is ordered or not, loses their right to own a firearm and vote. Florida law (as of 7/1/04) allow for only one withhold adjudication (or not being a convicted felon) for first time offenders charged with a third degree felony, and in limited exceptions, for offender charged with a second degree felony. Florida law no longer allows for withhold adjudications for first degree, or higher, felonies.
Examples of felony charges are:

  • Murder
  • Possession, Delivery, or Sale of a Controlled Substance Robbery
  • Felony DUI
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Burglary
  • Grand Theft

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