(See more information on Felony Sentencing)
In Florida, a felony crime is any crime that is punishable by more than one year in prison. All felonies are serious charges and can result in a sentence of imprisonment, fines, and probation. You can also lose your right to vote or own or possess firearms.
For a serious crime, you need a serious criminal attorney. Our attorneys have tried over a hundred criminal Jury trials. The trials include Death Penalty cases to third degree felonies and everything in between. Our firm is one of a handful of firms in Brevard County that are qualified under Florida Supreme Court Rules to handle death penalty cases (see Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.112). Our attorneys have received Not Guilty verdicts in murder, sexual battery, drug possession, Grand theft, and many other felony crimes.
If you have been arrested for a crime, or think you may be arrested, do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, especially law enforcement. Call our offices as soon as possible. The police will try to use anything you say against you. For example, if you are arrested by the Palm Bay Police, they may ask you if you want to tell your side of the story. All you need to say is that you want to speak to your lawyer.
The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over felonies. Each Judge has hundreds of felony cases on their docket. The Judges have vast power over how your case will be handled. The Assistant State Attorneys assigned to prosecute your felony case are usually experienced and hard-nosed. It is their duty to prosecute you and, if appropriate, have you sent to prison. You need an attorney who can be equally tough and aggressive.
In Brevard County, all felony cases are tried in the courthouse located in Viera. In years past, felony cases were tried in the Melbourne, Rockledge, and Titusville Courthouses. Now the Rockledge Courthouse has been converted to other uses and Titusville and Melbourne only handle misdemeanor cases.
If you are charged with a felony, you may end up going to trial. You should do everything you can to have a strong defense. Your trial may be your only chance to present your defense. Your trial is certainly your best chance to present all possible defenses to the charges. The State will present every fact to try and convict you. You need to be fully prepared to rebut the State’s case and present any facts that can help you. Once the Jury finds you guilty, you are in a hole you may never be able to climb out of.
Felony Plea Bargains
Before entering any plea bargain, you should thoroughly understand the facts of your case and your chances at trial. Remember the State must prove to a Jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed the crime charged. If you were caught red-handed, you may want to look at a plea bargain, but if you have a chance at trial, it is often better to take that chance.
If the evidence against you is so strong that you are forced to consider a plea bargain, there is still a lot of work to be done. Maybe if the State knows more about your side of the case, they will make a better offer. We will work to get you the best possible offer. If you have a Judge who may be less harsh than the State, consider a plea to the Court. You can use bargaining chips like entering drug treatment or promptly paying restitution to avoid or lessen an original offer of prison time. There are many options, and they all need to be explored.
Initial consultations are a courtesy and attorneys are available 24/7 for your urgent needs. Call the office to speak with an attorney by phone (321-549-3162).
Examples of felonies in Florida are:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- Battery on Law Enforcement Officer
- Child Abuse
- Drug Possession (Except Marijuana)
- Felony Battery
- Grand Theft
- Resisting Officer with Violence
- Sex Crimes, including Sexual Battery (Rape)
- Sexual Abuse By Teachers, Volunteers, Coaches, Other Authority Figures
- Lewd and Lascivious Battery
- Lewd and Lascivious Molestation