The Differences Between A Felony and Misdemeanor in Florida

felony misdemeanor florida

It is imperative that you retain legal counsel immediately if you are charged with either a misdemeanor or felony in Florida because both types of charges can result in serious consequences to you if you sustain a conviction. Those who have been convicted of misdemeanors or felonies will more often than not obtain a criminal record that will follow them throughout the remainder of their lives, in addition to the initial sentencing, i.e. jail time and fines. Having a criminal record can prevent you from being hired for certain jobs, residing in certain geographical areas, obtaining certain professional licenses and securing certain loans. Whatever types of charges you are facing, please read on, then contact an experienced Escambia County criminal defense lawyer to learn the differences between a felony and a misdemeanor in Florida.

How does a felony differ from a misdemeanor in Florida?

Felonies and misdemeanors have huge differences from each other. A misdemeanor, simply put, is a minor crime, while a felony is a serious crime that can land you in jail or prison for many years or even the rest of your life. Though not always the case, a misdemeanor will have a smaller impact on your life than the potential long-term consequences of a felony.

Examples of felony and misdemeanor offenses in Florida


  • Petit (petty) theft
  • Battery
  • Domestic violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalism
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Giving alcohol to a minor
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana


  • Murder
  • Aggravated assault or aggravated battery
  • Abuse of a child
  • Burglary
  • Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter
  • Possession of a controlled substance, other than marijuana
  • Kidnapping
  • Grand theft
  • Stalking
  • Incest
  • Carjacking
  • Resisting an officer with violence
  • Sex crimes, including rape
  • Drug trafficking
  • Robbery
  • Carrying a concealed weapon

Why do you need a Pensacola criminal defense attorney?

Defendants who represent themselves have fools for clients. Nowhere is that more accurate than Florida, which has one of the strictest criminal codes in the United States. Even if you do not face the death penalty, you could face decades behind bars, especially if you have a record. No matter what your unique circumstances are, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney to aggressively fight your charges at every turn of the process. Our firm is here to help.


For decades, the Law Office of James M. Burns has helped countless people through a wide array of legal issues, including those involving criminal law, family law, personal injury law, and will & probate law. If require the assistance of a competent legal team that can effectively guide you through each phase of your legal matter, you’ve come to the right place. Contact the Law Office of James M. Burns today to schedule your initial consultation.