FAQ 02: What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is gonna ultimately be the possible length of your sentence. A misdemeanor, in the state of Florida, and from as most as I know in other states as well, is punishable by a maximum of 364 days in the county jail. A felony is anything punishable by 1 year or more in Florida State prison. So, felonies can be anywhere from, you know, one year to life in prison or the death penalty and a misdemeanor is anything that is below that.
You have first-degree misdemeanors which are up to 364 days in the county jail and a second-degree misdemeanor which is going to be 60 days. Some common misdemeanors are:
- Possession of Marijuana, it is a misdemeanor, however, in Florida, if you have over 20 grams of Marijuana, then it is going to be a felony.
- DUI, if it’s your first one, it’s definitely going to be a misdemeanor, unless there’s death involved.
- Then you have traffic related misdemeanors such as reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, no valid driver’s license. Those are probably the ones we see the most.
Most drug possession cases other than Marijuana are all felonies. Cocaine possession is going to be a felony. Violent crimes, battery. If you’ve had several misdemeanor battery convictions, after your second one, even if it is a misdemeanor battery, they can charge it as a felony. So there are a lot of crimes that are misdemeanors that will be reclassified as a felony based on certain other aspects of it.