Naples Misdemeanor Charges Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor crime, you may wonder what this means for you in terms of consequences or your future in general. What’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge? And what should you do after receiving a misdemeanor charge, regardless of the crime?
A criminal defense lawyer with experience in misdemeanor crimes may be able to help you determine what the best next steps are for you and your case. Your lawyer might be able to utilize applicable laws for your case and reduce the consequences you may face. If you’re looking for more information, we’re happy to break down everything you need to know about misdemeanor law in Naples.
What Are the Differences Between Misdemeanor and Federal Charges?
The federal and Florida governments define a misdemeanor as a crime punishable with incarceration for a year or less. Additionally, fines for a misdemeanor crime in the state of Florida will not exceed $1,000. Anything requiring prison time or fines in excess of these caps is considered a felony charge.
Being Held in Jail
For many misdemeanor crimes, police will not necessarily need to take you to jail. Because a misdemeanor charge generally won’t require police to take you to jail immediately, you may make a Promise to Appear (PTA) for anything related to your case as required by the court. However, a warrant may be issued if you fail to follow through on your PTA.
Misdemeanors also vary from federal charges because you may only be held in jail for up to 18 hours. Depending on how busy the jail is at the time of your arrest, you may be released even earlier than this.
Degrees of Misdemeanors
There are also two different classifications for misdemeanor offenses: first-degree and second-degree. First-degree crimes are the more serious of the two, potentially including penalties of up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. A second-degree misdemeanor will only penalize you with up to two months in jail and fines up to $500.
Additional Penalties for Florida Misdemeanor Crimes
Outside of spending up to one year in prison and being charged up to $1,000 in fines, there are a few other penalties you may face if you are convicted of committing a misdemeanor crime in Florida. These additional consequences may include the following:
- Community service requirements
- Loss of privileges
- Suspension of educational scholarships
- Loss of professional licenses
- Removal of citizenship
Aside from these legally bound penalties, there may be further obstacles for you to face following a misdemeanor conviction. For example, you may be kept from serving in the military, refused the certain job and career opportunities, or denied attendance to some university or college programs. You may also need to deal with a negative reputation, which might affect personal and professional relationships.
How Can a Naples Misdemeanor Lawyer Help Me?
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor crime, especially for the first time, you may be experiencing some nervousness about your future and the consequences you may face. But with a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer, you may have far less reason to worry.
It’s never advisable to represent yourself in a criminal case, as a qualified lawyer who knows your case well has a far better chance of conveying it accurately and in your favor. Criminal defense lawyers are specialists in criminal law, which means they may have insider knowledge to tackle your case and give you the best possible outcome. How do they do this?
Build a Strong Defense
After learning about the details of your case and hearing your side of the story, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to build a powerful argument and negotiate the results of your case. This is the best chance you may have at reducing the penalties you face as well as avoiding a conviction.
In addition to building a strong defense, criminal defense lawyers may also be able to find weaknesses in the opposing party’s arguments. Proficiency in the law is crucial to the effectiveness of your defense, as well as for disassembling and examining the implications and meanings of these debates.
Finding the Best Course of Action
Your criminal defense lawyer may also be able to find the best possible course of action to minimize the time you’re required to serve and decrease the impact of the case on your life. For instance, during negotiations, they may inform you it’s best to seek a plea deal in order to avoid conviction or incarceration. They may also be able to use this bargaining power to reduce the losses of certain privileges or fines.
This also applies to the actions you may want to take in your everyday life. You may be advised to only speak with your lawyer about the specifics of your case, given tips on how to discuss your circumstances when absolutely necessary, and told to avoid making posts on social media.
Get Help for Your Naples Misdemeanor Charge From the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford
If you’re looking for help following a criminal misdemeanor charge, it’s best to avoid defending yourself on your own. At the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford, we have knowledge and skills in criminal defense law, and we pride ourselves on giving our all to our clients. With over 30 years of experience defending complex criminal cases, Robert H. Hanaford and the rest of our team are prepared to continue our long record of success.
Attorney Hanaford has the power to reduce criminal sentencing and apply the law to the favor of our valued clients. If you’d like the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford to lead you, please reach out for a free consultation regarding your case and concerns by filling out our contact form or calling us at (239) 315-9750.