Florida Felony Classifications
Florida, like any state, has two criminal classifications: felony and misdemeanor. A felony is a crime that is punishable by more than one year imprisonment in a state prison. Generally, should a crime require less than one year imprisonment, it will be classified as a misdemeanor.
Some common felonies include: assault, battery, carjacking, homicide, incest, kidnapping, robbery, sexual battery, stalking and theft. Punishment for a felony can range between one year and death, depending on the felony and degree of the felony. Florida also classifies some crimes as a noncriminal violation. Noncriminal violations are punishable by a fine, forfeiture or civil remedy.
Florida has five degrees for felony offenses: Felony in the third degree, felony in the second degree, felony in the first degree, life felony and capital felony. A felony is classified based on the maximum penalty allowed by law should one be found guilty of the associated crime.
Felony in the Third Degree
A felony in the third degree is punishable by no more than five years imprisonment in a state prison and a fine of up to five thousand dollars. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.
Felony in the Second Degree
A felony in the second degree is punishable by no more than fifteen years imprisonment in a state prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.
Felony in the First Degree
A felony in the first degree is punishable by no more than thirty years imprisonment in a state prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.
A life felony is punishable by forty years to life imprisonment in a state prison and a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.
A capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment with out the possibility of parole in a state prison. In addition, the defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.
Expungement of a Criminal Record in Florida
An expungement takes place when a judge seals one's criminal record. This makes the record no longer public. A judge will not grant an expungement until the case has been resolved. Record expungement will often make obtaining a job easier because future employers can no longer search the expungee's past criminal record and the expungee does not have to report to future employers that he or she was convicted of a past crime. In essence, an expungement wipes a person's slate clean, allowing him or her to start over without the looming pervious record.
The court will usually allow for any records associated with criminal file to be expunged. This would include police reports, investigation reports, and other reports leading up to the conviction. The expungement will not end here, all records of the detention or correctional facility and court documents related to the case can also be expunged.
Determining Expungement Eligibility
Some felony offenses are eligible for expungement in Florida. Before a person applies for expungement, the following criteria must be met:
- he/she has not been found guilty of a delinquent crime as a juvenile
- he/she did not pled "guilty" or "no contest" to the offense to be expunged
- he/she has not been found guilty of a crime as an adult
If a person's probation period is not completed but the sentence has been completed and all fines have been paid, many jurisdictions will allow for the defendant to file for a probation modification. A probation modification will allow a judge to determine if the defendant has displayed outstanding performance while on probation and thus merits a modification to a lesser probation period.
Crimes that Cannot be Expunged
Not all felonies can be expunged. Below is a complete list of felonies that are not eligible for expungement. If a person pleads "guilty" or "no contest" to any of the charges that are below, he/she will not be eligible for expungement or sealing:
- Domestic Violence
- Child Molestation
- Aggravated Assault
- Drug Trafficking
- Aggravated Battery
- Sexual Battery
- Aggravated Stalking
- Lewd Conduct
- Child Abuse
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Child Pornography
- Elder Abuse
- Illegal Pornography
Florida Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
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