Tallahassee Felony Attorney
A felony charge can upend your entire life. Felonies represent the most serious types of crime under federal and state law. A conviction can mean years–even decades–in prison. And even after a defendant has served their sentence, the taint of a felony conviction can still follow them for the rest of their lives.
At Luke Newman, P.A., our Tallahassee felony attorney understands the severity of a felony criminal charge. That is why we zealously represent clients in Tallahassee who are facing trial and need skilled legal representation. A felony is not something you can ignore. You must be proactive in asserting your constitutional and legal rights–and we are here to help.
How Florida Classifies Felonies
A felony is basically any criminal offense where conviction carries a penalty of at least one year in prison. This is what distinguishes felonies from misdemeanors, where the maximum penalty can be no more than a year in jail. Florida law further subdivides felonies into four distinct subcategories, which are as follows:
- Capital and Life Felonies – This is the most severe type of felony charge in Florida. A conviction carries the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison without parole. First-degree murder is the most notable type of felony in this category.
- First-Degree Felonies – One step down from capital and life felonies, felonies of the first degree carry a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-Degree Felonies – A felony of the second degree carries a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-Degree Felonies – Felonies of the third degree represent the lowest class of felonies–just above a misdemeanor–and carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine; unless the legislature specifically designates a felony in one of the other categories listed above, it is automatically classified as a third-degree felony.
It is also important to note that under Florida’s “Three Strikes” law, a person who has at least two prior felony convictions may face a much harsher sentence if convicted of a third felony.
Contact Tallahassee Criminal Defense Attorney Luke Newman Today
In all felony cases, the defendant has a constitutional right to a trial by jury. At trial, the burden is on the prosecution–not the defendant–to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant is not required to mount any defense at all. That said, it is often in a felony defendant’s best interests to put on a case, including witnesses and exhibits that can serve to undermine the prosecution’s evidence or theory.
Indeed, many felony cases hinge on the admissibility of key prosecution evidence. If that evidence was obtained illegally–say police seized it without a valid search warrant–then the trial court is obligated to exclude it at trial. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you identify these potential weaknesses in the state’s case and exploit them to your advantage.
So if you are facing a felony charge and need representation from a skilled Tallahassee felonies lawyer, contact Luke Newman, P.A., today to schedule a consultation.