Farkas & Crowley Site Header Logo

Call Us 24/7 at (561)-444-9529

What Is a Felony?

What Is a Felony?

Crime categorization in the United States, and by extension the state of Florida, generally gets classified into two main categories. Misdemeanors refer to minor criminal charges with less severe penalties, including smaller fines amounts and jail time. A felony, on the other hand, get reserved for the more severe crimes and can be identified by the substantially stronger fines, penalties, and lengthy jail time.

criminal defense attorney for felony cases

Hearing versus Trial

If you’ve ever been charged with a misdemeanor in the state of Florida, you have some understanding of how misdemeanors and felonies get handled by the legal system. Most misdemeanor charges get decided by a judge rather than a jury of peers, result in immediate rulings and occasional diversion options.

For example, a misdemeanor charge of underage drinking could result in a first-time offender being ordered to pay a fine of $500 and engage in 80 hours of community service as part of a pre-trial diversion program. In that scenario, the individual would have the option of completing the assigned hours, paying the fine, and having the charge removed from their record.

By comparison, felony charges in Florida generally require a trial by jury to decide the fate of the accused, with a conviction resulting in fines, jail time, and any additional punishments decided on by the jury.

The penalties associated with felony crimes are serious, and you could spend several years to the rest of your life in prison if convicted.

Felony Classifications

In addition to jail time and fines, a person convicted of any felony charge may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victims. This particular punishment can apply to individuals and organizations.

  • First Degree

First-degree felony charges in the state of Florida include a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Examples: Fleeing the scene of a traffic accident involving injury and/or death, assault with a deadly weapon, homicide.

  • Second Degree

This charge can include jail time of no more than 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Examples: Sexual battery, child abuse, burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

  • Third Degree

Last but not least, third-degree felony punishments include a maximum jail time of five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000.

Examples: Aggravated stalking, intent to defraud, bribery, possession of certain controlled substances, resisting arrest, concealed carry of a firearm without the required license.

  • Capital Felony

This felony type includes the punishment of death or life in prison upon conviction.

Examples: Kidnapping, mass murder, terrorism, and certain rape charges.

  • Life Felony

So named for the amount of jail time (up to 40 years) faced by a person convicted of this level of crime. Life felonies can also include a fine not to exceed $15,000.

Examples: Treason, human trafficking, and severe cases of child abuse.

Contact Farkas and Crowley – Felony Attorneys West Palm Beach

The faster you employ a criminal defense team, the better your chances are of safeguarding your future. The attorneys at Farkas & Crowley can help you get the best possible outcome for your case. We have defended numerous felony cases with remarkable results. If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony, it’s important to have experienced legal professionals by your side to help guide you through the legal system. To find out how we can help, contact Farkas and Crowley P.A. today.

Why Choose Us?

Certified by the Florida Bar

Experience in both defense & prosecution

Focus on criminal law

Aggressive, committed attorneys & legal staff ready to defend your rights

Recent Posts

Looking for a criminal law firm? Farkas & Crowley, P.A. are the attorneys for you. They are extremely knowledgeable of the law and go the extra mile for their clients. Their expertise and impeccable work ethic are hard to beat. Available 24/7. Highly recommended.

-Marla Newman

Get In Touch


500 S. Australian Ave.
6th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401


(561) - 444 - 9529


Mon - Fri: 9 am – 5 pm

Farkas & Crowley, PA

Criminal Defense & Family Law Lawyers