What Is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer

At my practice, The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr., I have often been asked about the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. The difference essentially is determined by the possible term of maximum term of incarceration. In the state of Florida, a misdemeanor is defined as any crime which is punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of no more than 1 year and/or a fine of $1,000. A felony is therefore defined as a crime which is punishable by incarceration for more than one year. There are several different types of felonies as well including capital felonies punishable by no less than 25 years of incarceration or by the death penalty; life felonies, which as the term implies, are punishable by 40 years' incarceration to life in prison; 1st degree felonies punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison; 2nd degree felonies punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison; and 3rd degree felonies punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.

The long term consequences of a misdemeanor and a felony are have a distinct difference as felony convictions carry with them long term or lifelong prohibitions against employment in many industries or professions, whereas a misdemeanor conviction will not be as extreme. Similarly, those with felony convictions can lose many civil rights, such as the right to own firearms or the right to vote.

Contact West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a member of your family has been arrested and is in need of legal counsel, please take the time to call my offices and schedule a free initial consultation. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have and review your case in detail with you. I have been representing clients and defending their legal rights for over 25 years. If you are seeking an experienced, knowledgeable and caring criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach, contact me today.

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