Felony charges can result in serious punishments that range from at least a year in state prison to expensive fines. A felony conviction can have devastating consequences on your life and can reduce chances of finding gainful employment or furthering your education.
Tallahassee Felony Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony, it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney who can help reduce your charges or seek a minimal sentence. To potentially avoid very harsh punishments, contact the attorneys at the Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation regarding your alleged felony offense.
Examples of Common Felonies in Florida
The Pumphrey Law has a great deal of experience representing Florida residents accused of many different types of felony offenses. This includes violent felonies, such as aggravated assault, along with the similar charge of aggravated battery.
They also work with Floridians accused of sexual crimes, such as rape, which is a difficult charge to defend and requires a strong understanding of state laws concerning this serious offense. The firm also defends those accused of sexual battery. This is another charge that is prone to subjective rulings and political rushes to judgment, so having the right attorney at your side is paramount.
Our attorneys also work with those accused of drug crimes. This includes possession with intent to sell, which is surprisingly a felony offense and comes with extremely severe penalties considering the crime. Knowing how to approach a charge like this is important because if you have an underqualified attorney working with you, there is a chance that you will be convicted and sentenced to a disproportional amount of jail time.
The same goes for the offense of drug trafficking. With a state that has such a punitive stance on drug crimes, knowing your defense options, along with the ability to articulate your argument, can help get these charges reduced or dismissed.
The firm also represents Florida residents accused of some of the most serious offenses. This includes working with those charged with robbery, manslaughter, or homicide. Whatever the circumstances, the attorneys at Pumphrey Law are dedicated to helping their clients through difficult times.
Felony charges in Florida can be classified as capital felonies, life felonies, felonies of the first degree, felonies of the second degree or felonies of the third degree. Under 775.082 of the Florida Statutes, punishment for a capital felony is punishable by death, or life imprisonment without parole. Life felonies can incur prison time up to life in state prison, depending on the crime and previous convictions.
Felonies of the first degree can include imprisonment up to 30 years and possibly life imprisonment, depending on the crime. Offenses classified as second-degree felonies can include up to 15 years in state prison, and third-degree felonies involve state prison time of five years or less.
Felonies can also incur monetary punishments. For example, a conviction of a life felony can result in a fine up to $15,000. Fines for first or second-degree felonies cannot exceed $10,000, and fines for third-degree felonies can be up to $5,000.
Once you have been charged with a felony in Florida, there are several steps to the pre-trial and trial process.
First, you will have an arraignment in a superior court, where bail will be set, your charges will be read to you, you will enter a plea, and you will have an opportunity to announce your attorney of record.
Next, there will be a preliminary hearing where the judge will determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute your offense at trial. The judge will determine if there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that you were the person who allegedly committed the crime. This hearing is conducted solely in front of a judge, and not a jury.
At the pre-trial conference, your attorney and the prosecution may attempt to agree to a plea bargain, change the initial charge or crop the number of felony counts.
If you do not agree to a plea bargain, your case will proceed to trial. At trial, you will have an opportunity to have a jury, comprised of members of the community, hear you case. The jury or judge will determine at trial whether you are guilty or innocent of the charges against you. The prosecution has the burden of proving you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of the crime you allegedly committed.
If you are found guilty, the judge will sentence you based on the crime you are convicted of and whether you had a prior criminal record or used a deadly weapon to commit your crime.
If you choose to appeal your conviction, you will typically have only 30 days to file notice of your appeal after the judgment is final. An appeal is not based on the facts of your case, but whether some error occurred in your trial process. For example, the jury instructions were erroneous, a pre-trial motion was incorrectly overruled, or there was insufficient evidence presented at trial for your conviction.
Pumphrey Law | Tallahassee Felony Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with a felony in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact the attorneys at the Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular situation. There may be defenses to your charge, and finding an attorney who will aggressively fight on your behalf is your best option to avoid severe punishment.
The attorneys at the Pumphrey Law are experienced in criminal defense, and may be able to reduce or alleviate your charges completely. Contact us at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged felony charge.
This article was last updated October 22, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.