Under Florida criminal statutes, a misdemeanor is any crime that is punishable by less than a year in jail. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but nonetheless are serious legal matters that must be carefully addressed. Some of the most common misdemeanors offenses include:
- Drunk driving
- Domestic violence
- Disorderly conduct
- Giving alcohol to a minor
- Possession of marijuana
- Resisting an officer (without violence)
A misdemeanor may sound like a minor legal problem, but can actually have a dramatic impact on your future. With a mark on your criminal record, you may find it difficult to find employment or get accepted into the school of your choosing. You may have problems obtaining or keeping a professional license. Because of the harsh consequences a conviction can have on your future, it is very important to make the right decisions going forward.
Tread carefully after a misdemeanor accusation
One of the worst things you can do after being charged with a misdemeanor is to make the situation worse by making bad decisions. Two things you should be careful not to do include:
- Make careless statements to police: You have the constitutional right not to incriminate yourself. Do not give up this right freely. Anything you say to the police, even seemingly innocuous statements, can come back to haunt you.
- Plead guilty: You don’t really know the strength of the state’s case against you until an experienced criminal law attorney examines the circumstances. Even if your situation seems hopeless, you can turn a victory into a defeat by pleading guilty without first talking to a lawyer.
Saying the wrong thing to the police can have unintended consequences, such as turning a misdemeanor charge into a felony. Your future is too important to let such a misstep steal months and possibly years of your life.