Criminal Defense against Statutory Penalties

Miami, West Palm Beach, Ft Lauderdale, Florida

If you are facing a criminal charge, it is important to understand the potential penalties you may be facing. At The Cochran Firm South Florida, our Miami criminal defense attorneys hope that none of our clients ends up suffering the penalties for a charge based on insufficient or improper evidence. We also hope you never have to face more severe penalties than necessary.

This page gives basic information about statutory criminal penalties, but it cannot give you advice specific to your situation like a criminal defense attorney can. To talk to a criminal defense attorney about your legal rights, please call 1-800-THE FIRM or email us today to schedule a consultation.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

For the purposes of sentencing, crimes are divided into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are generally more serious crimes. Beyond the penalties in the criminal system, felonies are accompanied by potentially severe consequences in the rest of your life. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes that receive lower penalties and have fewer repercussions on your life. Criminal defense attorneys are mindful of both types of penalties in handling your case and will work to get you the best possible outcome for your case.

Felony Penalties

In general, felonies are divided into degrees, based on the severity of the crime.

  • Capital felony is punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Ex: First degree murder.
  • Life felony can result in a lifetime imprisonment sentence without the possibility of parole, and a fine of up to $15,000. Ex: Kidnapping child under age 13 with additional offenses.
  • First degree felony can result in up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, and a fine of up to $10,000. Ex.: Drug trafficking.
  • Second degree felony can result in up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Ex. Aggravated battery.
  • Third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, five years probation, and a fine of $5000. Ex: Drug possession.

Felonies are also divided into a complex scheme of ten levels of severity.

Misdemeanor Penalties

Misdemeanors are relatively minor crimes that have much smaller penalties than felonies. Misdemeanors are generally divided into two degrees of severity.

  • First degree misdemeanor is punishable by no more than a year in jail, a year of probation, and a fine of up to $1000. Ex. Identity theft.
  • Second degree misdemeanor is punishable by no more than 60 days in jail, 60 days of probation, and a fine of up to $500. Ex: 2nd degree petit theft (less than $100, first offense.)

Although less, these penalties are potentially serious, and we can help you fight to avoid them.

If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in southern Florida, the Miami criminal defense lawyers of The Cochran Firm can help. Please call 1-800-The Firm or email us today for a consultation.