The majority of first-time offenders in the state of Florida commit misdemeanors. Unfortunately, most first-time offenses are due to poor decision making, but can still sometimes result in felony charges.
It is important that a first-time offender seek representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney, regardless of how minor the offense. While it is true that the penalty for a first offense is less harsh, it does not mean that the prosecution will not seek the maximum punishment possible.
What are Common First-Time Offenses?
The most common crimes committed by first-time offenders in Florida include:
- Domestic Violence – This can be between a husband and wife, domestic partners, and even roommates.
- Public Intoxication – Also known as “drunk and disorderly,” this offense involves a person who is visibly drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs in public.
- Assault – Assault is when harm or offensive conduct is taken against another person, either by threat or by physical violence.
- DUI – In Florida, DUIs (driving under the influence) are extremely common. Anyone that is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher can be arrested for a DUI.
- Marijuana Possession – While some states have legalized marijuana, it is not legal to possess marijuana in the state of Florida. Possession is often charged as a 1st degree misdemeanor; however, an individual can be charged with a felony if they are caught carrying more than 20 grams of marijuana or have 25 or more marijuana plants.
- Petit Theft – In Florida, petit theft is the unlawful taking of another person’s property when the property is worth more than $100 but less $300. It is considered a misdemeanor offense.
- Criminal Mischief – Criminal mischief can include any offense against property, such as damaging or defacing property. This can include graffiti, vandalism, or any form of destruction (with the exception of arson).
- Criminal Trespass – Criminal trespass is the willful entering of someone’s property without license, invitation, or authorization.
- Solicitation – Also referred to as prostitution, solicitation is putting a person’s body up for sale for the purpose of sexual acts. First-time offenders are often charged with a 2nd degree misdemeanor; however, future offenses could result in a felony charge.
- Driving on a Suspended License – These offenses can include misdemeanor charges, fines, and additional license suspension times.
First-time offenders are often able to avoid the full extent of their crime’s punishment with the right criminal defense attorney. It is imperative that first-time offenders seek out a criminal defense attorney to avoid the life-long consequences of a conviction, which can include making it more difficult to find employment, get a home, or even join the military.
Arrested as a First-Time Offender? Contact the Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, PA
If you have been arrested for a first-time offense – whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge – do not risk your freedom. Instead, contact the Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, PA for a case evaluation. Call 904-356-8618 or fill out an online contact form to get started now.