Specialized Representation for Misdemeanor and Criminal Traffic Offenses in Gainesville
Misdemeanors are less serious crimes. They are generally punishable by a fine or incarceration in the county jail for less than one year. The prosecutor does not usually convene a grand jury to investigate and charge misdemeanor offenses, although such charges can be generated along with felonies. Most misdemeanors are charged by written indictment and in many jurisdictions, poor defendants are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer. Often, misdemeanors are handled by special courts with abbreviated procedures. For instance, the defendant may have to request and pay a fee in order to get a jury trial. Misdemeanor traffic offenses may have preset penalties in the form of scheduled fines.
The consequences for misdemeanor convictions are generally less severe than for felony convictions. A person with a misdemeanor crime on his record may still be able to serve on a jury, practice the professions and vote. Serious felonies like assault and sexual abuse may have misdemeanor charges as part of the statutory scheme. For instance assault causing severe bodily injury is a felony, but simple assault which leaves no lasting injury is a misdemeanor. Likewise, rape is a felony, but lascivious acts are a misdemeanor.
In county courts, there are county ordinances and misdemeanors (first and second degree) – first-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or $1000 fine; second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or $500 fine. DUI charges have their own set of minimum and maximum penalties.
Call Hertz & Kearns, Attorneys & Counselors at Law and schedule your free initial consultation today.