Felony Classifications in Florida
Florida, like any other state, has two types of crimes: felonies and misdemeanors. A felony is defined as a crime punishable by more than one year in a state prison. In general, if a crime requires less than one year in prison, it is classified as a misdemeanor.
Assault, battery, carjacking, homicide, incest, kidnapping, robbery, sexual battery, stalking, and theft are examples of common felonies. The penalty for a felony can range from one year to death, depending on the felony and the degree of the felony. Some crimes in Florida are also classified as noncriminal violations. Noncriminal violations are subject to a fine, forfeiture, or civil remedy.
For felony offenses in Florida, there are five degrees: felony in the third degree, felony in the second degree, felony in the first degree, life felony, and capital felony. A felony is defined by the maximum penalty allowed by law if convicted of the associated crime.
A felony in the third degree is punishable by no more than five years in a state prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Furthermore, the defendant may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim.
Felony in the Second Degree
A felony in the second degree is punishable by no more than fifteen years in a state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, the defendant may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim.
Theft in the First Degree
A felony in the first degree is punishable by no more than thirty years in a state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, the defendant may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim.
Felony for Life
A life felony is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for forty years to life and a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars. Furthermore, the defendant may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim.
In a state prison, a capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Furthermore, the defendant may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim.
Getting a Criminal Record Expunged in Florida
An expungement occurs when a judge seals a person’s criminal record. As a result, the record is no longer public. An expungement will not be granted by a judge until the case has been resolved. Record expungement often makes it easier to find work because future employers can no longer search the expungee’s past criminal record and the expungee does not have to disclose to future employers that he or she was convicted of a crime. In essence, an expungement clears a person’s record, allowing him or her to start over without the burden of a previous record.
Any records associated with a criminal file are usually expunged by the court. This would include police reports, investigation reports, and other documents related to the conviction. All records of the detention or correctional facility, as well as court documents related to the case, can also be expunged.
Expungement Eligibility Determination
In Florida, certain felony offenses are expungable. Before applying for expungement, the following conditions must be met:
He/she has never been convicted of a delinquent crime as a juvenile.
He/she has not been found guilty of a crime as an adult because he/she did not plead “guilty” or “no contest” to the offense to be expunged.
Before applying for expungement, the expungee must pay all associated court costs and fees, as well as have completed probation. If the above criteria are not met, the person may not be eligible for expungement; this is at the discretion of the judge. These qualifications are usually strictly enforced by judges.
Many jurisdictions will allow a defendant to file for probation modification if his or her probation period has not been completed but the sentence has been completed and all fines have been paid. A probation modification allows a judge to determine whether the defendant has demonstrated exceptional performance while on probation and thus merits a reduction to a shorter probation period.
Crimes That Cannot Be Forgiven
Not all felonies are expungable. The following is a comprehensive list of felonies that are not expungable. If a person pleads “guilty” or “no contest” to any of the following charges, he or she will be ineligible for expungement or sealing:
- Domestic Violence Arson
- Aggravated Assault on a Child
- Drug trafficking, prostitution, aggravated battery, sexual battery, pandering, aggravated
- stalking, and homicide
- Lewd Behavior
- Abuse of Children
- Robbery Murder
- Sexual Abuse of Children
- Carjacking Manslaughter
- Terrorism, kidnapping, and child pornography
- Illegal Pornography and Elder Abuse