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Felony And Misdemeanor Cases

A felony in Florida is any crime in which the punishment can be more than one year in jail. In Florida, felonies are categorized by degree:

Third degree felonies are crimes punishable by up to five years in prison; most simple drug possession cases like possession of cocaine are third degree felonies. Most grand theft cases and burglary cases are third degree felony cases.

Second degree felonies are crimes punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.

First degree felonies are crimes punishable by up to thirty years in prison. Many drug trafficking charges including trafficking in cocaine or methamphetamine are first degree felonies.

Florida also has first degree felonies punishable by up to life in prison. These types of cases can included armed robbery and armed burglary cases.

Life felonies are felonies punishable by up to life in prison.

Capital murder cases punishable by either death or life in prison.

Second degree murder is a life felony, and first degree murder is either a life felony or a capital felony if the prosecution asks for the death penalty.

Florida has several designations for career criminals or habitual offenders which can double the statutory maximum prison sentence and also carry minimum mandatory prison sentence.
Phil and Jackie have handled every type of felony and misdemeanor cases that people commonly get arrested for in Florida. Phil has met the qualifications set by the Florida Supreme Court for representation of Defendants charged with the death penalty and Phil has represented at trial and penalty phase proceedings defendants charged with the death penalty. Phil recently won the "Against All Odds Award" for his successful defense in the re-trial of a death penalty case. See more about this in Success stories.


A misdemeanor in Florida is any crime punishable by less than a year in jail.
Common types of misdemeanor crimes include DUIs (see our DUI Defense page) and most criminal traffic cases like leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, fleeing or eluding a police officer, or driving with a suspended license or driving with an expired driver's license (see our Suspended driver's license page). Criminal misdemeanors include possession of marijuana (see our Drug possession page) , shoplifting, retail theft, petit theft, battery, assault and domestic violence cases.