Facing criminal charges will have a detrimental impact on your future, and it’s in your interests to know what you are up against and how you can fight back. This is especially important if you are a college student and have your entire life ahead of you. One important aspect of your criminal defense is to know whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges and what that could mean for you long-term.
You could be facing either a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge. There are distinct differences between the two as felony charges come with stricter penalties and consequences. Regardless of what you are up against, you would be wise to take your case seriously and strive to effectively confront the charges against you with a strong and thoughtfully prepared defense strategy.
Felony versus misdemeanor
A misdemeanor offense is more serious than an infraction but not as serious as a felony. In most cases, conviction of a misdemeanor offense can result in jail time of less than one year. There are different classes of misdemeanors — class A, B and C. Typically, people serve these sentences in lower-security facilities than those for felony convictions. It may be easier to negotiate a favorable plea agreement for a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony.
A felony offense is more serious than a misdemeanor. These charges are for crimes that merit a jail or prison sentence longer than one year. There are different classes of felonies as well, ranging from class A to E. A class A felony can result in a life sentence or even the death penalty. Facing a felony offense of any kind is serious, and a conviction can change the course of your life. It is in your interests to take your situation seriously.
How can you protect your interests?
You do not have to fight for your interests on your own. You will find it beneficial to work with an experienced Florida defense attorney who can help you navigate the criminal justice system. A legal ally can help you defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome to your situation.
It may help to start with a complete evaluation of your case. You can do this by reaching out as soon as possible after an arrest. When it is your future and long-term interests on the line, you will not want to delay in getting the help and support you deserve.