Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Mark O’Mara
Content last updated on: July 26, 2023
Have you been arrested for a misdemeanor crime in Orlando, Florida? Don’t underestimate the potential consequences of a conviction, including steep fines, jail time, probation, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. You need to fight for your future, and the experienced Orlando misdemeanor lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group can help your case achieve the best possible outcome.
Our award-winning Orlando criminal defense attorneys have over 35 years of experience handling some of the toughest criminal defense cases in the nation. When you choose our law firm, you benefit from the insight and experience of a former prosecutor, which can give you a considerable advantage when your future is on the line.
Contact our law office in Orlando, Florida, to learn more. We offer a free consultation and are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Misdemeanors are generally considered less serious than felonies. Ultimately, the penalty is what sets a misdemeanor apart from a felony in the state of Florida:
In some cases, a misdemeanor offense can be elevated to a felony if aggravating circumstances are present. For instance, what is typically charged as a misdemeanor might become a felony if the defendant has multiple prior convictions, if a weapon was used in the commission of the crime, or if the victim is a child, disabled, or elderly.
While misdemeanors and felonies will leave a mark on your criminal record, generally, getting a misdemeanor conviction expunged is much easier.
What are the different misdemeanor classifications in Florida?
Under Florida law, misdemeanors fall into one of two classifications: first-degree or second-degree. More serious misdemeanors are classified in the first degree, while second-degree classification is reserved for less serious misdemeanor offenses. Again, the primary difference between these two classifications is sentencing.
What are the different misdemeanor classifications in Florida?
Examples of common first-degree misdemeanors include vandalism, marijuana possession, and battery. If aggravating factors are present, a first-degree misdemeanor can be elevated to a felony.
Misdemeanors of the Second Degree
Second-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of:
Examples of common second-degree misdemeanors include first-offense petty theft, driving on a suspended license, and assault.
Misdemeanors of the second degree can be elevated to first-degree offenses if a defendant has prior convictions for the same offense or if other aggravating factors are present.
Misdemeanors vs. Infractions
Florida also has some noncriminal offenses. These are referred to as infractions. Infractions don’t carry jail time but can be subject to fines and other penalties. Traffic violations are the best example of civil infractions in Florida.
We Represent Clients With All Types of Misdemeanor Criminal Cases in Orlando, Florida
Our top-rated Orlando criminal defense attorneys are ready to help you fight back against all misdemeanor charges in Florida, including:
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor offense in Orlando, reach out to our criminal defense law firm for help. We will carefully consider the facts of your case, work to identify the best possible defense strategies, and put a plan into action to get the best possible result for you.
Collateral Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction in Orlando
Jail time, fines, and probation aren’t the only potential consequences of a misdemeanor conviction in Florida. You will also face collateral consequences long after you have completed your sentence. Collateral consequences are adverse legal penalties (mostly civil and social) that exist because of your criminal record. For instance, with a misdemeanor on your record:
Collateral consequences are most prominent in misdemeanor cases involving drugs and violence.
Typically, misdemeanors stay on your record forever. However, in Florida, some misdemeanors can be sealed or expunged. When a misdemeanor is expunged, it is no longer visible on your criminal record.
So, if a potential employer runs a background check, the misdemeanor will not show up in the results. However, expungement won’t erase every indication of your past conviction. Mugshots, news articles, and records held by private databases will still exist and may be easily searchable online.
The best way to avoid the criminal and collateral consequences of a misdemeanor conviction is by asserting a strong defense from the start.
How the O’Mara Law Group Can Help if You Are Facing Misdemeanor Charges in Orlando, Florida
State prosecutors will work hard to get a conviction or favorable adjudication in your misdemeanor criminal case. And unless you ask for help, they will have the upper hand. Prosecutors handle complex criminal matters like yours every day. You can protect yourself and help ensure you achieve the best outcome in your misdemeanor criminal case by calling our Orlando criminal defense attorneys for help.
Our founding attorney is a former prosecutor with over 40 years of experience handling complex criminal matters. As a result, we are intimately familiar with how the Orlando criminal justice system operates and what it will take to minimize the potential consequences of your misdemeanor charge.
When you turn to us for assistance, we will:
Our attorneys will aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your misdemeanor case, fighting to get the charges dismissed or dropped. If your rights have been violated even slightly, that evidence will be front and center in our court petition to set you free.
The best defense is strategic, aggressive, and smart. At the O’Mara Law Group, we strive to provide that kind of legal representation to our clients every day. Your future is on the line, but we are ready to help you protect it. So contact our Orlando misdemeanor defense attorneys today. Our team is standing by to take your call.
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