Criminal Defense Representation in
Brevard County, Florida
Misdemeanor charges should be taken seriously. You may not understand how to handle the charges, and you may not be sure whether you need an attorney. You almost certainly do. A misdemeanor conviction can haunt you down the road. While a misdemeanor conviction is not punished as harshly as a felony conviction is, it can result in jail time, steep fines, and difficulties in securing housing, a professional license, and employment. I am a Brevard County misdemeanor defense lawyer who can represent you in fighting your charges.
Florida crimes are divided into misdemeanors and felonies. Both felonies and misdemeanors must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Felonies are the most serious crimes. They can result in a long period of incarceration or even the death penalty. Misdemeanor offenses are less serious but can result in a jail term and a fine. They are handled at the County Court level of the judicial system.
Some of the most common misdemeanor offenses include first-offense DUI, battery, battery domestic violence, assault, first-offense prostitution, driving on a suspended license, disorderly conduct, loitering, , marijuana possession, petty theft, and resisting an officer. What must be proven depends on the specific misdemeanor. For example, under Florida Statutes section 316.193, a prosecutor will need to show that you operated a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or with a blood alcohol content of over .08%, to get a misdemeanor DUI conviction. As a misdemeanor defense attorney in Brevard County, I will carefully explain what the prosecution needs to prove in your specific case.
Misdemeanors are further divided into first and second degrees. First-degree misdemeanors are punished more harshly than second-degree misdemeanors. They can result in up to one year in jail, up to one year of probation, and up to $1,000 in fines. Shoplifting is an example of a first-degree misdemeanor if merchandise worth a certain amount was stolen.
Second-degree misdemeanors are the least serious misdemeanors in the state. If you are convicted, you can face a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If a misdemeanor is not specifically classified, it is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor. First-offense prostitution is an example of a second-degree misdemeanor. Under Florida Statutes section 796.07, you can be convicted of prostitution if you offer yourself or offer to secure someone else or agree to secure someone else for the purpose of prostitution or another lewd or indecent act. Prostitution is defined as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire.
In Florida, prosecutors have two years to bring a first-degree misdemeanor charge. If that time expires, a Brevard County misdemeanor defense attorney can get a first-degree misdemeanor charge dismissed on that basis. Prosecutors have only one year to prosecute misdemeanors of the second degree.
Although misdemeanors are not punished as harshly as felonies are, you should retain an experienced attorney to defend you in a misdemeanor case. A misdemeanor conviction can make it difficult to secure housing or a job or to obtain a professional license that you need in your chosen career. However, there may be substantive or procedural defenses that I can raise on your behalf. In some cases, it may be appropriate to establish an affirmative defense, or to raise a reasonable doubt about an element of the misdemeanor that needs to be established. In other cases, there may be constitutional violations that can form the basis of a motion to suppress.
Misdemeanor charges can affect the rest of your life and should be taken seriously. I have been practicing as a misdemeanor defense lawyer in Brevard County since 2006. I have a reputation as a zealous advocate for my clients’ constitutional rights. I represent people in communities such as Melbourne, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Titusville, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Palm Shores, Grant-Valkaria, and Mims. Call me at (321) 254-3455 or contact me online.
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