We're Not Afraid of Going to Trial
Sarasota Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer
An Attorney With a Proven Trial Record
Florida classifies criminal offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies. Although misdemeanors are less serious charges, any criminal conviction can have a negative impact on your life. If you are facing a misdemeanor charge in Sarasota or Arcadia, the Law Offices of Eric Reisinger, PA is ready to defend you inside and outside the courtroom.
Experienced Representation for All Misdemeanors
Misdemeanor charges are less serious than felonies and the process is less complicated than in felony cases. For example, there are no preliminary hearings and the trial is held before a judge without a jury trial. While the process is less complex and the penalties are less severe, it is still in your best interests to avoid a criminal record because any criminal record could prevent you from pursuing certain educational and career goals.
We represent clients facing charges for:
- Simple battery
- Domestic violence
- Bad checks under $150
- Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana
- Disorderly conduct
- Driving with a suspended license
Although they are less serious than felonies, a misdemeanor charge can result in an arrest, mug shots, fingerprinting, and the need to post bond. This can be stressful and disruptive to your life. If you are sentenced to time in jail, it can affect your whole family, put your employment in jeopardy, and harm your personal and professional reputation.
Misdemeanor Classes in Florida
The penalties you may be facing depend on the class of the misdemeanor charge. Florida classifies misdemeanors as either first degree or second degree misdemeanors, depending on the nature of the offense. Second degree misdemeanors are the least serious and can result in a sentence of up to 60 days in jail or six months of probation and a $500 fine. Some Second Degree Misdemeanors are: driving with a suspended license; disorderly intoxication; and some trespassing charges.
What are First Degree Misdemeanors in Florida?
First degree misdemeanors are considered more serious offenses. A conviction can result in a sentence of up to a year in jail or probation and a $1,000 fine. This class includes charges, such as possession of drug paraphernalia, battery, and cruelty to animals.
What Is a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida?
Punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail, second degree misdemeanors are considered less serious offenses than first degree misdemeanors in Florida. In fact, in many cases a defendant can avoid spending time in jail by negotiating for another punishment.
Do Misdemeanors Go Away in Florida?
Misdemeanors do not go away in Florida. If you have EVER at any time in your lifetime, either before or after the charge you are trying to seal or expunge, been convicted of ANY criminal offense, including minor criminal ordinance violations, criminal traffic matters, or even “simple” misdemeanors, then under Florida law, you are forbidden from ever getting any charge sealed or expunged. Expungement only applies to certain cases. Expungement also ONLY applies to those charges that have been completely dismissed either by the prosecutor or by the judge. This can include, in some circumstances, Pretrial diversion, aka, Pretrial intervention, aka Deferred Prosecution.
If your case was not dismissed and you pled guilty or no contest, or you were found guilty after a trial, regardless of whether or not you received a withhold of adjudication, then you can not get a charge expunged. However, if you have never been convicted of anything, and you did get adjudication withheld, then there are many charges under Florida law that are eligible to be sealed.
How Bad Are Misdemeanors?
While misdemeanors are less serious than felony charges, misdemeanor charges are still serious criminal offenses. It may be tempting to quickly enter a guilty plea to avoid trial, but having a misdemeanor on your criminal record can have long-lasting consequences on your life.
Always consult with a misdemeanor defense lawyer before entering a plea for ANY charge. If you need a consultation, contact our Sarasota criminal defense attorney today.
How Does a Misdemeanor Affect Your Life?
As we mentioned above, a misdemeanor conviction in Florida can have several consequences that can impact your life in different ways.
Here are some possible ways a misdemeanor conviction in Florida can affect you:
- Criminal Record: A misdemeanor conviction in Florida will be reflected on your criminal record, which can affect your future employment opportunities, housing, and educational opportunities. Some employers and landlords may not hire or rent to someone with a criminal record, even if it's just a misdemeanor.
- Employment: Certain professions such as healthcare, law enforcement, and education may require background checks, and a misdemeanor conviction could affect your eligibility for these positions. Additionally, some employers may have policies against hiring individuals with criminal records, including misdemeanors.
- Driver's License: If your misdemeanor conviction involved a traffic offense, such as DUI or reckless driving, your driver's license could be suspended or revoked.
- Immigration: If you are not a U.S. citizen, a misdemeanor conviction could affect your immigration status and lead to deportation.
- Gun Ownership: In Florida, certain misdemeanor convictions, such as domestic violence, can result in the loss of your right to own or possess a firearm.
Defending Your Rights
Our Sarasota misdemeanor defense lawyer is a former prosecutor who has prosecuted and defended all types of criminal cases. In his two decades of legal experience, he has become well known among prosecutors and other criminal defense attorneys for his skilled and aggressive legal representation.
Our criminal defense law firm has a track record of successful case results for our clients. Every situation is unique, so it is important to get legal advice for your case. We offer free initial consultations to enable you to get the advice you need. We fully investigate the circumstances of your case to determine the most effective defense strategy, verify that there was probable cause for any search that may have been conducted, and that your rights were not violated.
Not Guilty Verdict 2016 CF 004875 NC – Life Felony Second Degree Murder
Not Guilty Verdict 2017 CF 000169 – Life Felony Armed Robbery
Successful Resolution 2017 CF 002479 AX – 15 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography
Not Guilty Verdict 2017 MM 11498 – Misdemeanor Battery and Misdemeanor Sex Offense -Unnatural and Lascivious Act
Case Dismissed 2018 CF 000323 – Two Counts Felony Battery on a Person 65 or Older
Case Dismissed 2018 CF 002675 AX–Felony Battery on a Person 65 or Older
"An articulate, professional, talented attorney."I strongly recommend him if you are in need of a defense attorney!- Kathy
"I would definitely use them again!"Did exactly what they said they would do, was very responsive and helped to resolve my legal issue quickly.- Heather
"Now I have a regular driver's license and no felony record thanks to these guys."They were able to amend my charges so that I am no longer a habitual traffic offender and I was able to get my drivers license right away.- Diane
"I am very pleased with how quickly the issue was taken care of."My experience with the Law Office of Eric Reisinger was fantastic!- Talia
"I wouldn’t trust any other attorney."I felt like I was talking to some one I could trust, good price ... and I couldn’t be happier with this firm.- Able
"When it comes to legal defense you need Eric in your corner."If you need legal assistance you have found the right attorney.- Kevin
"Attentive, efficient, and communicated with me quickly."My experience with attorney, Eric Reisinger was exceptional.- Lisa
"He did everything he said and more! I am extremely grateful Eric!"If you need legal counsel STOP looking and call Eric Reisinger.- William