A Pensacola Felony Lawyer Helps You

  • Understand Florida felony laws and potential penalties
  • Get your felony criminal charges reduced to a misdemeanor
  • Avoid a criminal conviction and keep a clean criminal record
  • Build a solid criminal defense against your charges
  • Challenge law enforcement evidence against you
  • Take your case to trial to fight for a not-guilty verdict

How Mitkevicius Law, PLLC Makes a Difference in Felony Cases

We are ready to fight for your rights and protect your reputation.

You don’t have to plead guilty. You have other options. At our firm, we offer the following:

  • Free consultations
  • 10+ years of legal experience
  • Responsive counsel
  • Trial-ready mindset that doesn’t force you to settle
  • Personal legal guidance that keeps you informed

Florida Felony Laws: Charges & Penalties

There are many felonies in Florida, all of which carry serious penalties and heavy collateral consequences.

Felony Crimes in Florida

Some of the most common felony crimes in Florida include:

  • Sexual Assault & Battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Domestic Violence Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Drug Charges
  • Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Female
  • Domestic Battery by Strangulation
  • Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Murder
  • Carjacking
  • Grand Theft
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Robbery
  • Stalking & Harassment
  • Burglary

Florida Felony Penalties

There are five degrees of felonies in Florida, with separate penalties for each. A Florida felony conviction may result in the following:

  • Capital Felony – This is punishable by death or life in prison.
  • Life Felony – This is punishable by a term of life or up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • First-Degree Felony – This is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony – This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony – This is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Florida’s 10-20-Life Law

According to § 775.087, Fla. Stat., mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines exist for some crimes committed with deadly weapons. The Florida 10-20-Life law requires that the penalties for those crimes are harsher when a firearm is used in the commission of a felony.

For a felony offense using a firearm, the court must impose at least a 10-year prison sentence. Firing a weapon requires a 20-year sentence, and shooting someone requires a 25-year sentence. This is true whether or not the alleged victim was injured or killed.

The law also imposes minimum sentences on some drug offenses. Depending on the amount and whether someone died in the related crime, the alleged offender may face seven, 15, 25 years, or life in prison. They may also face the death penalty in certain situations.

Possible Felony Sentencing Enhancements in Florida

Sentencing enhancements are aggravating factors that can make penalties harsher, including a longer prison sentence. Some sentencing enhancements include:

  • Habitual Felony Offender (HFO) – This is someone who has been convicted of two or more felonies and a new crime within five years of the last conviction or release.
  • Violent Career Criminal (VCC) – This is someone who has been convicted of three or more violent felonies, as defined in 776.08, Fla. Stat. Violent felonies include offenses such as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and certain drug offenses.
  • Habitual Violent Felony Offender (HVFO) – This is someone who has been convicted of two or more violent felonies and a new crime within five years of the last conviction or release.
  • Prison Releasee Reoffender (PRR) – This is someone who commits a felony within three years of being released from federal or state prison for a felony punishable by at least one year in prison in Florida.

Each of these sentence enhancements will lead to additional time in prison on top of the normal penalties assessed for the felony.

Aggravating Factors in Florida Felony Cases

Aggravating factors in Florida felony cases are factors that a judge may consider when sentencing a defendant. These factors can increase the severity of the defendant’s sentence.

Some common aggravating factors in Florida felony cases include:

  • A prior criminal record, especially for similar crimes
  • Violence or a weapon in the commission of the crime
  • Serious physical or emotional harm to the alleged victim
  • Prejudice or hatred in committing the crime
  • A position of trust or authority over the alleged victim
  • A particularly cruel or heinous manner
  • The crime was committed for financial gain

A judge is not required to consider aggravating factors when sentencing a defendant. However, if the judge finds aggravating factors present, they may impose a harsher sentence than they would otherwise.

"I can honestly say Mr. Josef and his staff are amazing and took great care of me.

They are really great people and they really care about your case. I went to court today and 7 hours later I got a phone call and email saying all of my charges were dropped and I had serious charges against with years hanging over my head. Mr. Josef and your staff, my family and myself thank you very very much. We love you all and thank you all again so so much. I will refer everyone that needs a good lawyer to you guys and ladies of your law firm. God bless you all."

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Your Florida Felony Defense Options

No matter what happened, you should work with a Florida felony defense lawyer who can evaluate the facts of your case and determine exactly what happened. Here are some examples of potential felony defense strategies that your lawyer for felony charges might use in your case:

There Is a Lack of Evidence

Your attorney may argue that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove the charges against you. This could include arguing that the evidence is circumstantial, that the witnesses are not credible, or that the evidence was obtained illegally.

You Have an Alibi

Your attorney may argue that you were not at the scene of the crime at the time it was committed. This could be supported by witness testimony, phone records, or other evidence.

You Acted in Self-defense

Your felony defense attorney may argue that you used force to protect yourself or others from imminent harm. This defense can be used in cases of assault, battery, or even murder.

Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Your felony attorney may argue that you were insane at the time of the crime and, therefore, not legally responsible for your actions. This defense is rarely successful, but it may be an option in some instances.

There Were Constitutional Violations

Your attorney may argue that the police violated your constitutional rights during the arrest or investigation. This could include arguing that you were illegally searched or seized, that your Miranda rights were violated, or that you were coerced into confessing.