In Florida, criminal defense attorneys advocate for the rights of clients charged with criminal offenses which are usually split into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Florida criminal defense attorneys are typically hired either directly by their clients or appointed to represent their clients by the court, especially in cases where defendants cannot afford to hire their own attorneys. These court-appointed defense lawyers are known as public defenders.
Florida criminal offenses are classified into two broad categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious in nature than felonies. County courts have original jurisdiction of most misdemeanor cases. Circuit courts, on the other hand, have jurisdiction over all felonies and any misdemeanors arising out of the same circumstances as a felony which is also charged. As Florida criminal law attorneys can attest, the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules of Evidence apply evenly to both criminal offense categories.
The term “misdemeanor” refers to any criminal offense punishable under Florida state law, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by a term of imprisonment in a county correctional facility not in excess of one year (except for extended terms). However, “misdemeanor” does not mean a conviction for any noncriminal traffic violation under chapter 316, F.S. or any municipal or county ordinance. While misdemeanors are less severe than felonies and typically involve lighter sentences, it’s still a good idea to have a good Florida criminal law attorney on your side.
The term “felony” refers to any criminal offense punishable under Florida state law, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by death or imprisonment in the state penitentiary. “State penitentiary” means any of the state correctional facilities. Individuals must be imprisoned in the state penitentiary for each sentence which, other than extended terms, exceeds one year in length. All felonies are punishable by incarceration in state prison, which means it is critical to hire a skilled, experienced Florida criminal law attorney to give you the best possible legal representation during your case.
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