Defending Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

Defending Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Jacksonville

Criminal defense law firm helping reduce the consequences of criminal charges in Duval County, Florida

Criminal charges are either felonies or misdemeanors. While felony charges are much more severe and carry heavier sentencing, a misdemeanor charge can also have a significantly adverse effect on your life.


Even misdemeanor convictions in Florida can carry serious consequences, including both jail time and fines. According to Florida statutes, a first-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. For a second-degree misdemeanor, there is a maximum jail time of 60 days and a maximum $500 fine. In certain cases, the prosecution can upgrade a misdemeanor charge to a felony.

Aside from time spent in jail that may result in the loss of your job, a misdemeanor on your record can mean denial of certain professional licenses. For immigrants, misdemeanor convictions can lead to denied citizenship or deportation.

The repercussions of a misdemeanor conviction can be even more devastating than most people expect, so hiring an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer is a wise decision. At Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A., our attorneys explain the significance of the charges and take much of the mystery out of the legal process. Your chances of reducing the consequences are improved with the help of seasoned legal counsel. Furthermore, because judges are not restricted by sentencing guidelines for misdemeanors, they have a large amount of leeway in sentencing. A skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can make a big difference in minimizing the effect of a conviction for a misdemeanor.


In Florida, a felony carries a sentence of more than one year in a prison or correctional facility. According to Florida statutes, a person convicted of an offense other than a capital felony may pay a fine in addition to any other punishment. Felony fines range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Conviction for a felony in Jacksonville, FL, or anywhere in the state can result in up to life in prison without parole or in the case of a capital felony, the death penalty. A life felony incurs 40 years to life in prison. First, second and third degree felonies carry maximum terms of imprisonment of 30, 15 and five years, respectively.

Seek support from our experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers

At Fallgatter Catlin & Varon, P.A., we pursue all legal options to minimize the consequences of a criminal charge, such as early intervention to convince the prosecutor not to file charges or to lower the charges. If you have little or no prior criminal history, we can apply on your behalf for a diversion program, which would avoid the trial process and allow us to get the charges dismissed when you successfully have completed the program. We use many additional approaches, such as presenting mitigating evidence to judges and prosecutors, negotiating for a withholding of adjudication (so you are not labeled a convicted felon) and requesting transfer of a drug case to a drug court that may allow rehabilitation in lieu of incarceration.

We encourage you to meet with one of our criminal defense lawyers for a consultation at no cost or obligation. The sooner we can start representing you in your case, the better your chances are for a favorable outcome. Call our office at (904) 353-5800 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.


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