Misdemeanor means any crime that is punishable in Florida by imprisonment in county jail for not more than a year.
The term “misdemeanor” does not mean a conviction for any noncriminal traffic violation of any provision of chapter 316, F.S., or any municipal or county ordinance.
Misdemeanors are less severe than Felonies. And, they are further divided into 2rd Degree or 1st Degree Misdemeanors. 2nd Degree Misdemeanors may be punished by up to 60 days in county jail; 1st Degree misdemeanors may be punished by as much as a year in county jail.
A court may also impose probationary sentences for misdemeanors. A 2nd Degree Misdemeanor can include up to six months’ probation, and a 1st Degree Misdemeanor violation can include probation for up to a year. The court can also combine incarceration with probation.
People charged and found guilty ONLY of a Misdemeanor will NOT be sentenced to State Prison. A defendant charged with both a felony and a misdemeanor can be sentenced to prison for the felony with the misdemeanor sentence to run concurrently.
Neither Sentencing Guidelines nor the Criminal Punishment Code apply to misdemeanors.
Some misdemeanors can be reclassified to a higher degree of misdemeanor or to a felony and/or enhancement of the penalty (sometimes including minimum mandatory provisions) based on recidivism and/or statutory aggravating factors. Common examples include driving under the influence, driving while license suspended or revoked battery, petit theft, culpable negligence, and possession of marijuana.
The trend in Florida is to remove discretion from the Judge; legislatively mandated to impose certain sanctions. .
Florida Statute 775.0837, the Habitual Misdemeanor Offenders Law addresses a habitual misdemeanor offender, whom is defined as a person who is before the court for sentencing for any misdemeanor offense described in chapters 741, 784, 790, 796, 800, 806, 810, 812, 817, 831, 832, 843, 856, 893, or 901, F.S. and who has previously been convicted, as an adult, of four or more misdemeanor offenses described in these chapters that were not part of the same criminal transaction or episode and were committed within one year of the date of the commission of the misdemeanor that is before the court for sentencing.
If the court finds that the defendant qualifies as a habitual misdemeanor offender, the court is required, unless it makes a finding that an alternative disposition is in the best interests of the community and the defendant, to sentence the defendant as a habitual misdemeanor offender and impose one of the following sentences:
(1) Incarceration in a county jail operated by the county or a private vendor for a term of not less than six months, but not to exceed one year;
(2) Commitment to a residential treatment program or other community-based treatment program or a combination of residential and community-based program for not less than six months, but not to exceed 364 days; or
(3) Detention for not less than six months, but not to exceed 364 days, to a designated residence.
A court may not sentence a defendant under section 775.0837, however, if the misdemeanor before the court for sentencing has been reclassified as a felony due to any prior qualifying misdemeanor.
Common law offense of criminal contempt and local ordinances punishable by incarceration are the legal equivalent to misdemeanors for purposes of sentencing.
List of some Misdemeanors in Florida are:
Accessory Improper Tag,
Animal Cruelty Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Assault Lewd and Lascivious Act
Battery Loitering and Prowling
Carrying a Concealed Weapon Obstruction of Justice
Contributing to Deliquency of a Minor Obtaining Property with a Worthless Check
Criminal Mischief Possession of Alcoholic by Person under 21
Culpable Negligence Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Disorderly Conduct Possession of Marijuana
Driver’s License Violations Reckless Driving
Discharge of a Firearm in Public Resisting an Officer without Violence
Disorderly Intoxication Sale of an Alcoholic Beverage to a Minor
Domestic Battery Solicitation of Prostitution
Driving Under the Influence Stalking
DUI, DWI Trespass in a Structure or Conveyance
Driving While License Suspended Trespass in an Occupied Dwelling
Exposure of Sexual Organs Violation of Domestic Violence Injunction
False Report of a Crime Violation of Misdemeanor Probation
Improper Exhibition of Firearm Voyuerism
If you are charged with a Misdemeanor remember, the initial consultation is FREE. And:
Alejandro Rivera, Esq.
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