Orlando Lawyer Provides Dedicated Defense to Misdemeanor Charges
Skilled advocate fights for your future against a variety of charges
Although a misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony, a conviction can cost you up to a year of your life and continue to haunt you well into the future. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, trust The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. to protect your rights and fight aggressively to beat the charges. Mr. Yates has more than 27 years of experience defending clients in the greater Orlando area. He has the determination to challenge every element of the case against you. Often, he is able to resolve misdemeanor cases favorably without going to trial. But if a trial is the best option in your case, you can rely on Mr. Yates’ skill and experience in the courtroom.
Categories of misdemeanor offenses in Florida
Under Florida law, there are two categories of misdemeanor offenses:
- First degree — The most serious misdemeanors are punishable by jail terms of up to one year and fines of up to $1,000.
- Second degree — Lesser misdemeanors can result in jail terms of up to 60 days and fines of up to $500.
A misdemeanor does not trigger a loss of civil rights, although some convictions, such as DUI or possession of marijuana, can result in the temporary loss of the defendant’s driver’s license. However, a misdemeanor conviction on your record, especially one involving theft, can still impact your future employment.
Common misdemeanor charges in Florida
Misdemeanors are offenses that typically concern property of low value and involve little or no violence. Common misdemeanors in Florida are:
- Assault — Simple assault, an intentional threat of violence coupled with an apparent ability to carry it out, is a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Battery — Simple battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will or intentionally causes bodily harm. It is a first-degree misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors.
- Disorderly conduct — Also known as “breach of peace,” this offense is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor.
- DUI — A person’s first two DUI offenses are generally charged as misdemeanors unless there are aggravating circumstances.
- Petty theft — It is a first-degree misdemeanor to steal property valued at more than $100 but less than $300 by nonviolent means. This type of theft includes shoplifting.
- Trespassing — Entering any premises, structure or conveyance without permission is a second-degree misdemeanor unless it is occupied, which raises the level to first-degree.
- Possession of cannabis — If you are caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana and you have no prior convictions, you face a first-degree misdemeanor charge.
It is often possible to seek reduction of a felony charge to a misdemeanor. For example, a charge of burglary may be plea-bargained down to trespassing. To give yourself the best chance of decreasing your exposure to heavy penalties, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney with the determination to fight on your behalf.
Contact a misdemeanor defense attorney in Orlando for a consultation
A conviction for a misdemeanor crime can cost up to a year of your life and continue to hold you back even after you’ve served your time. If you face a misdemeanor charge, call The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.