A comprehensive guide to arrests and detention rights
Updated: Jul 28
Individuals who are charged with a criminal offense in Florida should have a strong understanding of the criminal justice system and the possible defenses that they may be able to raise.
Crimes in Florida are divided into two general categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Of the two, misdemeanors are considered less serious. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor crime is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. In many situations, misdemeanors do not result in any imprisonment. If a jail sentence is imposed, the defendant generally goes to the county jail. There are also noncriminal violations that usually involve a fine, such as traffic violations or a public nuisance citation.
In contrast, felonies are considered more serious. Florida felonies are punishable by imprisonment of more than one year and a fine up to $15,000. The term “felony” shall mean any criminal offense that is punishable under the laws of this state, or that would be punishable if committed in this state, by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary. “State penitentiary” shall include state correctional facilities. A person shall be imprisoned in the state penitentiary for each sentence which, except an extended term, exceeds 1 year.
The term “misdemeanor” shall mean any criminal offense that is punishable under the laws of this state, or that would be punishable if committed in this state, by a term of imprisonment in a county correctional facility, except an extended term, not in excess of 1 year. The term “misdemeanor” shall not mean a conviction for any noncriminal traffic violation of any provision of chapter 316 or any municipal or county ordinance.
Before speaking with the prosecutor, investigator, police, or anyone else on the other side, call the law firm to discuss what are your rights, and how to best navigate this system that can be very intimidating. Call Dina anytime at 754-236-9699 Even if arrested or in jail, call!