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In the State of Florida, Felonies are crimes that are punishable by more than a year in jail. Felonies are broken into degrees same as misdemeanors and each degree carries with it a set of maximum penalties and fines.

Third degree felonies are the lower-level felonies in the State of Florida. While these offenses are still to be taken seriously, typically they tend to carry less punishment then a second- or first-degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years in state prison and or a $5,000 fine. Some criminal offenses charged as third-degree felonies include your felony drug possession, such as possession of cocaine, controlled substances, also child abuse, illegal carrying of a concealed weapon, felony driving while license suspended, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of a conveyance just to name a few.

Third degree felonies typically resolve in a plea of some sort. Although an accused does have the right to go to trial, majority of cases tend to resolve in a plea. The plea offers on a third-degree felony can include jail/prison time, probation up to five years, and or fines and court cost. Note also, that certain persons accused of a third-degree felony may qualify for a diversion program in which the accused has the option of completing the diversion program and having the case dismissed after successful completion.

Second degree felonies in the state of Florida felonies classified as those felonies punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison and a $15,000 fine. Second degree felonies include charges like possession of drugs with the intent to sell, attempted drug trafficking of certain drugs, dealing in stolen property, burglary of a dwelling whether occupied or unoccupied, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm by a convicted in-state felon, possession of ammunition by an in-state felon Just to name a few. Typically, a plea to a second-degree felony may consist of some jail or prison time, lengthy probation and or fees and or court cost.

First degree felonies and capital felonies – These felonies tend to be the higher-ranking felonies and are the more serious types of criminal offenses. Some charges include, murder, armed kidnapping, trafficking in drugs, sale of narcotics within 1000 feet of a school, childcare facility, church etc., and certain sex offenses. First degree felonies can be punished by prison terms that include up to 30 years in Florida and a $30,000 fine. Note also that many of these charges carry with them a statutory fee that must be paid in addition to court cost. Note further that some first-degree felonies are punishable by life in prison and for capital offenses may be punishable by life in prison or even death. Note that in capital cases a separate sentencing determination will be held that accesses the case and evaluates the facts for a determination for the imposition of the death penalty. Typically, plea offers to first degree felonies will include lengthy prison time and maybe followed by significant probation also.

DISCLAIMER: For More information on the legal process please call us at 407-717-8557. Note that the above information is not a guarantee of how your case will proceed nor is this page legal advice under an established client-attorney representation. This page is but a basic general overview of the misdemeanor judicial process in Florida and is intended for educational purposes only.