If you were recently charged with a misdemeanor in Florida, your Jacksonville criminal attorney can help you mount the best possible defense. Under Florida law, a misdemeanor is defined as any offense punishable by a maximum penalty of less than one year in jail. Some of the most common misdemeanors in Florida include:
- Simple assault or battery;
- Reckless driving;
- Petit theft or retail theft (shoplifting);
- Possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis.
If you are facing any of the above charges and are not sure where to turn, your Jacksonville criminal attorney can help you right away.
One of the preliminary considerations in any criminal case is whether the state should detain a defendant during the time between arrest and trial. The more severe the offense, the less likely the judge is to permit a defendant to reenter society pending trial. However, for misdemeanor offenses, it is very likely your Jacksonville criminal attorney will be able to argue on your behalf for either a modest cash bail or no bail at all. Release without bail is known as a release on the defendant’s “own recognizance” and signifies that the court trusts the defendant will return for the trial. If you have a history of missing court dates or failing to appear, a modest bail may be required.
Negotiating With Prosecutors
Another key task for your Jacksonville criminal attorney is to consider and arrange for a plea agreement with the prosecution. A plea agreement is a mutual agreement between you and the state that you will forgo your right to a trial in exchange for a lesser charge or a reduced sentence. Prosecutors may be willing to settle in the event that not enough evidence is available to guarantee a finding of guilt before a jury. In the alternative, a defendant with a plethora of evidence against him may want to submit to a plea agreement to avoid a harsher conviction and sentence from a jury. Your attorney will advise you as to the best course of action depending on your specific case.
For more information about the misdemeanor criminal process, schedule a preliminary consultation with a Jacksonville criminal attorney. Call the Attorneys at Canan Law today at (904) 824-9402.