Felonies are the most serious crimes individuals can be charged with. They include major offenses such as murder, kidnapping, burglary, and aggravated assault and battery. Because they are so severe, they carry harsh penalties. Florida separates felonies into five categories based on the acts involved, and the punishments vary depending on the offense classification. If you have been accused of a felony, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can assist in building a legal strategy and help you seek to avoid or minimize the penalties.
At First Coast Criminal Defense, our Jacksonville felony defense attorneys have extensive experience helping clients fight serious charges. Our team gets to know the people we serve, building solid and trusting relationships with them. We take the time to fully investigate the alleged incident and explore all available legal avenues. Our approach allows us to develop personalized and robust legal strategies for our clients. Skilled trial lawyers, we can work toward obtaining favorable results inside and outside the courtroom.
To discuss your case with one of our felony defense lawyers in Jacksonville, please call us at (904) 474-3115 or contact us onlinetoday.
Felony Offenses in Florida
Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors. They include substantially dangerous or risky conduct that puts the lives and safety of others and the community at risk.
Below are the five categories of felonies in Florida and examples of each:
- First-degree murder: The unlawful killing of another person by premeditation, while committing a specified offense, or after distributing certain controlled substances to the other individual.
- Kidnapping of a person under 13 years of age: The offense must have involved the actor committing child sexual abuse, sexual battery, or lewd or lascivious battery.
- Kidnapping: Abducting another person against their will for the purpose of obtaining a ransom, committing a felony, inflicting bodily injury, or interfering with a government function.
- Human trafficking: Transporting a person and coercing them to perform forced labor or services or commercial sexual acts.
- Vehicular homicide: Taking another person's life by the reckless operation of a motor vehicle.
- Burglary: Entering or remaining in a structure with the intent to commit a crime.
- Aggravated assault: Threatening to harm someone with a deadly weapon or the intent to commit a felony.
- Aggravated felony: Striking a person against their will and having one prior conviction for the offense.
At First Coast Criminal Defense, we’ll explain the charge you’re facing and your options for challenging the accusations. By providing honest and clear information, we can assist in making informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.
The Penalties for Felonies in Florida
Generally, felonies are punishable by incarceration and/or fines. The term of imprisonment and the amount of the fine are based on the category of the offense.
Examples of potential felony penalties include the following:
- Capital felony:
- Death or
- Life imprisonment without parole
- Life felony:
- Life or
- Imprisonment for 25 years to life with probation for the rest of the person’s life and/or
- A fine not to exceed $15,000
- First-degree felony:
- Not more than 30 years’ imprisonment and/or
- A fine not to exceed $10,000
- Second-degree felony:
- Not more than 15 years’ imprisonment and/or
- A fine not to exceed $10,000
- Third-degree felony:
- Not more than 5 years’ imprisonment and/or
- A fine not to exceed $5,000
Punishments other than those listed above may also be imposed. Additionally, when a person is convicted of a felony, they can face various collateral consequences – those arising from laws, rules, and regulations. For instance, an individual may lose their gun rights, be denied state licensure, or have trouble getting a job or a place to live.
The Statute of Limitations for Felonies in Florida
The statute of limitations lists the time the prosecutor has to bring a case against a person accused of a crime. For felonies, the deadline varies according to the category of the offense.
Action must be commenced as follows:
- Any time for a capital or life felony
- 4 years after a first-degree offense was committed
- 3 years after a second- or third-degree offense was committed
The court could dismiss the case if the prosecutor does not file charges within the deadline.
Contact First Coast Criminal Defense Today
Our Jacksonville felony defense attorneys recognize the long-term repercussions of a conviction. We purposely take on a small caseload, allowing us to dedicate the time and effort necessary to fight to protect our clients’ rights and futures.
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