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Can You Face Jail Time For A Misdemeanor In Florida?


Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felony offenses. That being said, it would be a tremendous error to view a misdemeanor as “a small issue.” The reality is that misdemeanors can carry serious criminal consequences, potentially even significant jail time. In this article, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer provides a detailed overview of the key things to know about the risk of jail time for a misdemeanor charge in Florida.

A Misdemeanor Can Carry Jail Time in Florida 

Here is the key thing to know: In Florida, a person charged with a misdemeanor can indeed face jail time. Contrary to a common misconception, a misdemeanor is not merely a slap on the wrist. It is a serious criminal offense that can have significant consequences. The severity of the punishment for a misdemeanor in Florida depends on various factors, such as the nature of the crime, prior criminal history, and the presence of aggravating circumstances. 

Misdemeanors are Crimes that Carry a Maximum Sentence of No More than One Year in Jail

In Florida, misdemeanors are categorized into two degrees: first and second. A first-degree misdemeanor is the more serious of the two and carries a maximum jail sentence of one year. A second-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 60 days. Besides jail time, individuals convicted of a misdemeanor can also face fines, probation, community service, and other penalties depending on the specifics of the case.

Notable Examples of Misdemeanor Charges 

Misdemeanor criminal offenses come in many different forms in Florida. Some of the most common examples of misdemeanors include:

  • Petty Theft: Petty theft involves stealing property valued at less than $750 and can result in up to one year in jail if classified as a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Simple Assault: Threatening or attempting to cause physical harm to another person without a weapon can lead to jail time, especially if it is deemed a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Actions that corrupt public morals or outrage the sense of public decency may result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge, carrying up to 60 days in jail.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): A first-time DUI offense can be charged as a misdemeanor and carry potential jail time. 

Defending a Misdemeanor Requires Careful Attention to the Specific Circumstances 

Defending against a misdemeanor charge in Florida requires a detailed understanding of the law and careful attention to the specifics of the case. An experienced attorney can assess the evidence, identify potential defenses, and provide legal advice tailored to the situation. It’s essential to recognize that even a misdemeanor conviction can have lasting effects on a person’s record, employment prospects, and more. 

Contact Our Orlando, FL Misdemeanor Defense Attorney for Immediate Help

At The Baez Law Firm, our Florida misdemeanor criminal defense lawyer is standing by, ready to help you find the best solution. Get in touch with us by phone or contact our criminal defense team online for your confidential, no obligation initial legal consultation. We defend misdemeanor charges in Orlando and all across the surrounding region in Orange County and Central Florida.

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