Criminal offenses are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors, which involve incarceration, fines and additional criminal penalties.

The criminal justice system divides criminal offenses into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Both types of offenses are criminal and will result in penalties; however, felonies are more severe than their misdemeanor counterparts.

In most cases, a misdemeanor offense will result in as little as a few days in jail to up to a year; whereas a felony conviction will result in a minimum one-year sentence and up to life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. Some types of criminal offenses can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history.

What types of crimes are classified as felonies? Felonies cover a wide range of offenses such as certain sex crimes, theft crimes (depending on the value of the item stolen), certain juvenile crimes, hit and run, violent crimes and weapons charges.

In the case of juvenile crimes, some offenses can be tried in the adult courts. The prosecution will make the decision based on the age of the minor, their history and the nature of the crime; for example, certain sex crimes, gang-related crimes and other violent crimes such as murder could be tried in the adult court system.

Essentially, any types of computer or internet crimes against children are prosecuted as felony offenses. Since these types of crimes cross state borders, they are classified as federal offenses and may involve the FBI.

Other common felonies involve white-collar crimes such as fraud, forgery, money laundering, embezzlement, identity theft, credit card and debit card fraud. These types of white-collar crimes are also classified as federal offenses which would typically involve large government organizations such as the FBI.

More serious DWI offenses can be charged as felonies as well. Third or subsequent DWI charges and DWIs involving serious bodily injury or death can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and years in a state prison even if you never meant to harm anyone.

The state of Florida is notorious for being tough on crime and punishment. If you are convicted of a felony offense in the state of Florida, it can ruin your personal and professional reputation. Upon conviction, you may be required to spend years in a state or federal prison, pay thousands of dollars in fines, serve probation or parole and perform community service. Additionally, both your driver’s license and your ability to own a firearm will also be compromised. If you are presently facing charges, it is in your best interest to secure the services of a seasoned criminal defense attorney right away.