Felony Defense Attorneys in Ocala, Florida
Felony charges are serious. While misdemeanors in Florida can result only in up to a year in jail, felony convictions can range from multiple years behind bars -- to life -- or even to the death penalty, depending on the severity of the crime and the criminal history of the offender.
Typically, in federal criminal cases and in most states, including Florida, a crime that can be punished up to a year or more in prison is considered a felony. This does not mean a conviction will necessarily result in more than a year of imprisonment; however, it is still a felony, even if the convicted person is offered alternative sentencing such as probation or a diversion program.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal investigation or charge for a felony in or around Ocala, Florida, contact the criminal defense team at Defend Ocala to help you exercise your rights and seek the best possible outcome under the law.
We pride ourselves on our accessibility, which includes affordable pricing and our willingness to take on any case, large or small. We proudly serve clients not only in or around Ocala, but also in Marion County, Lake County, Belleview, Leesburg, Tavares, and Eustis, Florida, as well as the surrounding areas.
Felonies Under Florida Law
A misdemeanor offense, as noted earlier, is any crime that can result in no more than a year in jail, not in prison. More serious offenses are categorized as felonies, which can result in prison terms. Florida has five categories of felonies, which are, according to Florida Statutes Chapter 775:
felony of the first degree;
felony of the second degree; and,
felony of the third degree.
What These Categories Entail: Examples
An example of a capital felony is first-degree murder, the unlawful killing of another person through premeditation or other circumstances. A life felony is sexual battery by someone 18 years or age or older against a child under 12 years of age, taking the child into human trafficking or kidnapping.
First-degree involves armed robbery and the taking of someone else’s property while carrying a firearm or deadly weapon. Also, it includes carjacking and burglary with assault and battery. Second-degree felonies include aggravated assault, which occurs when someone touches or strikes someone else and causes great bodily harm or uses a deadly weapon. Lastly, in this category, are extortion and vehicular manslaughter.
Third-degree felonies are the least serious of felony charges and include aggravated assault, theft of a vehicle or firearm, and trespassing while armed.
Capital felonies are punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole, or even by the death penalty. Life felonies are punishable by up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
First-degree felonies can result in up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Felonies of the second degree are punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, third-degree felonies can lead to five years behind bars and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
There is the possibility of an enhanced felony sentencing if the offender has two or more previous felony convictions, Judges may impose extended prison terms for those designated as habitual or violent felony offenders.
It is important to reach out to a knowledgeable attorney who can discover your options and build a strong defense.
Sentencing Guidelines in Florida
Florida actually uses a points system to help in determining the sentence for a convicted felon. Points are assigned based on the severity of the offense, the use of weapons and firearms, resulting injuries, and the offender’s criminal history.
If the points total fewer than 44, judges must generally consider imposing a non-prison sentence. This can include probation, community control, prison diversion, or split sentences. Community control is similar to house arrest, which is a more serious consequence than probation.
Prison diversion may require residential or nonresidential programming, substance abuse treatment, or academic or vocational opportunities. A split sentence means some time behind bars and the rest on probation or under community control.
If the offender scores more than 44 points on the scale, the judge then uses a formula to determine the minimum prison sentence, though, they have the option to assign the maximum allowable sentence or anything in between.
Felony Defense Attorneys Serving Ocala, Florida
If you’ve been arrested and brought in for questioning for a felony in or around Ocala, Florida, reach out immediately for legal counsel. Our seasoned defense team will work with you to seek lessened or dropped charges or reach a plea bargain. If matters go to court, we will challenge the evidence presented by prosecutors to raise reasonable doubts in the minds of the jury. Reach out immediately.