Misdemeanor Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
Have you Been Charged With a Misdemeanor Offense in Florida? Call Us at (561) 902-1122
Misdemeanors are lesser offenses than felonies. But make no mistake, that does not mean the State does not take them seriously. Not only will a prosecutor aggressively pursue these matters, but, upon a conviction, a court can impose harsh penalties. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor in Florida, your freedom, future, and reputation are on the line. Thus, it’s necessary to get started on your case as quickly as possible by retaining a skilled lawyer immediately.
At the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., we have handled thousands of cases and are dedicated to fighting for people’s rights. Our West Palm Beach misdemeanor attorney invests the resources necessary to defend our clients’ innocence and never gives up, no matter how challenging the case may seem.
Attorney Greg Rosenfeld is an award-winning lawyer with a track record of obtaining favorablecase results for his clients. He has a strong work ethic and delivers legal representation with professionalism and integrity. Attorney Rosenfeld is a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 and has received various distinctions, including being selected to the Florida Rising Stars list from 2016 to 2021 and earning an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.
What are the Penalties for a Misdemeanor in Florida?
Florida law classifies misdemeanors into two degrees.
Second-degree misdemeanors are less serious than first-degree and penalized by:
- Up to 60 days in jail,
- Up to 6 months of probation, and/or
- Up to $500 in fines.
First-degree misdemeanors may result in:
- Up to 1 year in jail,
- Up to 1 year of probation, and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
Regardless of the degree you’re charged with, a misdemeanor can have debilitating effects on your life. Your conviction will be a part of your criminal record, which is accessible to the public. Anyone, including landlords and potential employers, can see your history, and their assessment of you may be clouded by what they find. Thus, you might face challenges when trying to get a job, a place to live, or qualify for certain benefits. Additionally, a misdemeanor charge and/or conviction will permanently stay on your record unless you take steps to remove the information.
To avoid or minimize the punishments you can face, you must aggressively fight your charge with the help of an attorney. Our misdemeanor lawyer in West Palm Beach is ready to deliver the defense you need.
What Are Some Examples of Misdemeanors in Florida?
In Florida, various offenses are charged as misdemeanors.
Examples of misdemeanors include, but are not limited to:
- Assault: It’s a second-degree misdemeanor to threaten violence against another person.
- Criminal mischief: If a person willfully and maliciously damages someone else’s property, he or she could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Disorderly conduct: Corrupting public morals, breaching the peace, or engaging in fighting can be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor.
- DUI: Anyone charged with a first or second driving under the influence offense may be penalized by 6 to 12 months in jail and/or $500 to $4,000 in fines.
- Marijuana possession: Any person in actual or constructive possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana commits a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Issuing worthless checks (”passing bad checks”): It’s unlawful for a person to present a check for payment knowing that the account it’s linked to does not have sufficient funds to cover the total cost. The crime is a first-degree misdemeanor if the amount is less than $150.
- Petit theft: Stealing property valued at $100 or more but less than $750 is a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Trespassing: Entering or remaining on property without authorization is a first-degree misdemeanor.
First-Time Misdemeanor Offense in Florida
Being accused of a misdemeanor can be frightening, especially if this is the first time you have ever had a run-in with the law. You may have many questions about your charge and the potential outcomes. Our West Palm Beach misdemeanor attorney is ready to provide the thorough and clear information you need about your situation. We will discuss the criminal justice process and the steps you may have to go through to resolve your case.
In some misdemeanor cases, first-time offenders may be eligible for pre-trial diversion programs. West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer, Greg Rosenfeld will review these options with you and help determine whether you qualify.
We are committed to seeking the best possible result in misdemeanor cases and are prepared to explore every legal avenue for you.
What Should You Do if You're Charged with a Misdemeanor in Florida?
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, on top of securing legal counsel, it’s important to:
- Be on time: For a misdemeanor charge, you may be scheduled for several different court proceedings. You’ll receive a notice with the date and time you must appear, and you should arrive on time or early. If you fail to appear at all, you could be subject to another misdemeanor charge as defined in Florida Statutes § 843.15.
- Be prepared: During the initial process for a misdemeanor charge, you’ll be scheduled for an arraignment where the prosecutor reads your formal charges. During this step, you may also be asked to enter a plea. By preparing for the initial proceedings with your lawyer, you can make more informed decisions about how to move forward with your case.
- Be ready to negotiate: If you enter a plea of not guilty, you will be scheduled for a subsequent pretrial hearing. Your lawyer will then review the evidence, investigate your case, and develop a theory of the defense. The prosecutor may extend a plea offer, which is when the prosecutor agrees to file lesser charges, reduce the possible sentence, or drop related charges in exchange for your pleading guilty. This process will involve negotiation to seek a favorable deal. Having reviewed the merits of your case, your lawyer can help you understand whether or not the offer is fair. Additionally, because attorneys have experience with this process, they know how to fight for their clients' best interests.
- Be ready for trial: Every person accused of a criminal has a constitutional right to a trial. Your attorney must thoroughly and zealously prepare for trial. Although the burden rests on the prosecutor to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, building a strong defense requires examining every detail of your case and understanding the evidence the other side has against you. Again, discussing your case with a lawyer can help as you challenge the prosecutor’s accusations.
Be prepared to file an appeal: Unfortunately, not all cases end with “not guilty” verdicts,
but even in these unfortunate situations, the fight is not over. You still
have the opportunity to appeal the judgment. During an appeal, you can
challenge legal errors that occurred during trial. There are various grounds
to file an appeal, and a skilled attorney can help you understand whether
or not you can move forward with this type of action.
Recently, our attorney, Greg Rosenfeld, took on a case in which a man was held in contempt of court because of a strongly worded letter he sent to a judge who dismissed his civil lawsuit. The judge said that the letter “lessen[ed] the authority and dignity of the Court.” Attorney Rosenfeld filed an appeal on the grounds that the conviction decision violated the man’s right to free speech under the First Amendment.
Read the full South Florida Sun Sentinel article about the case here.
We’re Ready to Help
At the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., we’ll discuss your legal options and the avenues we can explore to work toward protecting your rights and future.
The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40
Past President of the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5.0 rating on Martindale-Hubbell
Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating for Criminal Defense & Clients' Choice Award 2016 - 2019
Selected for Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2016 Through 2021
10 Best for Client Satisfaction by the AICLA