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How criminal charges are categorized will affect your case

If you are accused of criminal misconduct, you could find yourself facing some severe penalties. If convicted of a crime, you are looking at fines, probation restrictions, suspended licenses and even incarceration. You need to take the situation seriously and thoroughly explore your options.

To begin with, you will need to understand what your situation actually is and this begins with knowing the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. Depending on the category of charges that have been filed, you and your attorney can craft a strategy to defend against them.

There is a difference in the process of defending against misdemeanors and defending against a felony; having an appreciation for this can be vital in determining what steps need to be taken.

Essentially, the difference comes down to severity because a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony. The potential consequences of a misdemeanor conviction are not as severe as a felony conviction. For instance, if you are convicted on a misdemeanor, you would typically spend no more than one year in a correctional facility, and that would be for a first-degree offense. Prosecutors and judges may also be more flexible when considering what charges to pursue, plea negotiations and sentences.

Felonies, on the other hand, are taken much more seriously because they are the most serious type of offense. A felony conviction can mean at least a one-year sentence in a state penitentiary. While there is some flexibility in sentences, the fact that the charges are so severe means that the punishment that is often pursued is the maximum allowed by law. Felony court proceedings are also much more rigid and structured than those involving misdemeanors.

What this should all mean for our readers in Florida is that, while all criminal charges can lead to serious penalties, those involving a felony can be more severe. Avoiding any type of conviction can be crucial, but aggressive defense strategies can be especially critical when someone is charged with a felony. In order to accurately assess your situation and your options, it can be a good idea to discuss your individual case with an attorney.

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