Misdemeanors: What Are They and Classifications in Florida

June 29, 2024 Criminal Defense

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In Florida, misdemeanors are criminal offenses that are less severe than felonies in terms of potential penalties faced. They can be broken down into two categories: first- and second-degree misdemeanors. This page will explore the types of misdemeanors in Florida and their penalties.

Under Florida Statutes Section 775.15, prosecution for a first-degree misdemeanor must occur within 2 years from the date the crime was committed. Prosecution for a second-degree misdemeanor or no-criminal offense must occur within 1 year from the date the crime was committed.

First-Degree Misdemeanors

First-degree misdemeanors are more serious than second-degree misdemeanors, carrying punishments of up to 1 year in jail. Some examples of first-degree misdemeanors include:

Other first-degree misdemeanors include offenses such as indecent exposure, marijuana possession, shoplifting, prostitution, and vandalism, among others.

Second-Degree Misdemeanors

A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. Some examples of second-degree misdemeanors include:

  • Simple assault: An intentional and unlawful threat of violence against another person with the apparent capability to carry it out
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • First time petit theft

Many first- and second-degree misdemeanors are punished with jail time and probation. However, some misdemeanors lead to a withhold of adjudication. A withhold of adjudication follows a guilty plea or plea of no contest (nolo contendere) and is generally reserved for first offenders. 

A withhold of adjudication means the accused does not go to jail but receives an alternative penalty, such as probation. A person who receives a withhold of adjudication is eligible to have their record sealed or expunged if they comply with court-ordered requirements like probation, and do not reoffend.

Note: A DUI is not eligible for a withhold of adjudication.

Even though it is not a felony, a misdemeanor is still a serious crime. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, the smartest decision you can make is to contact an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A former prosecutor, Don Pumphrey, Jr. has more than 25 years of experience fighting to win for clients across Florida.

Former Prosecutor, Former State Police Officer, Lifetime Member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; for almost 25 years as a private defense attorney who is Trusted, Experienced, Aggressive in Criminal Defense as a Trial Attorney, Criminal Lawyer, Criminal Defense Lawyer for the accused in Florida State Courts located in Tallahassee, Florida but handling cases throughout the State of Florida.

Don Pumphrey, Jr. has been qualified, accepted as an expert, and testified as an expert in the area of Criminal Defense Trial Work in Florida (State v. David Lee Green, Case No: 00-CF-016798, Hillsborough County, January 5th, 2011, Tampa, Florida; Honorable Susan Lee Sexton, Circuit Judge). 

Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee, FL

As a former prosecutor, former state police officer and a life member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, I have observed that being arrested anywhere in Florida can be extremely stressful. Being charged and “formally charged” by information in Tallahassee or Leon County, Wakulla County, Jefferson County, Gadsden County, Quincy, Crawfordville, Florida State University, Florida State University Campus, Florida State University Student Code of Conduct, Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University, or facing first appearance in Leon County, can be life changing. Given the possibility of a lengthy jail or in some cases lengthy prison sentence and hefty financial penalties, it is important to contact an aggressive, trusted and experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Don Pumphrey, Jr. and the attorneys at Pumphrey Law have decades of experience fighting on behalf of clients and winning. Call Pumphrey Law now at (850) 681-7777 to learn more about what we can do for you. Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.

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