Can You Get A Felony Charge Downgraded To A Misdemeanor In Florida?
A felony is a very serious criminal offense. In Florida, all felonies carry the possibility of at least one year in jail. Many felony charges carry far more serious criminal penalties—with life imprisonment or even the death penalty being on the table. You may be wondering: Is it possible to get a felony charge downgraded? A felony charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor or potentially even dropped outright. Here, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer explains the key things to know about getting criminal charges reduced in Florida.
Florida Law: There are Several Degrees of Felony Charges in Florida
As a starting point, it is important to clarify that there are actually several different categories of felony charges in Florida. While criminal charges are divided into two broad categories in the state—with felonies being more severe and misdemeanors being less severe—there are five different types of felony charges. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 775.081), a felony charge can fit under any of the following categories:
- Third degree felony;
- Second degree felony;
- First degree felony;
- Life felony; and
- Capital felony (possible death penalty case).
The penalties associated with a felony criminal charge will depend, in large part, on the classification of the felony. Whereas a life felony can carry life imprisonment, a third degree felony carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison.
Note on Misdemeanors: In Florida, misdemeanor offenses are divided into two categories. First degree misdemeanors are the most serious offense. Second degree misdemeanors are the less serious offense. Though, misdemeanor charges should not be taken lightly. They can carry jail time.
An Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Will Explore Every Option for Reduction of Charges
To get a felony charge downgraded (or dropped) in Florida, it is imperative that you take a proactive approach to your criminal defense. There is no “one” specific strategy to get the severity of criminal charges reduced. Instead, you need to work with an experienced Orlando, FL criminal defense attorney who can review the specific circumstances of your case and gather and assemble the evidence and information that you need to challenge the charges being pursued by police and prosecutors. In some cases, felony charges may be reduced as part of a plea bargain. If you are attempting to negotiate a plea bargain in Florida, you should always seek guidance from a top criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will ensure that your rights are properly protected.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With an Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer
At The Baez Law Firm, we are devoted to providing aggressive, zealous legal representation to each and every client. If you or your loved one was charged with a felony offense, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer is more than ready to protect your rights, interests, and future. Contact us right away to set up a fully confidential case assessment. From our Orlando law office, we represent clients throughout Central Florida, including in Orange County, Seminole County, and Polk County.