What is a Felony?

Felony Arrests in Broward

The law classifies crimes differently on the basis of their severity. An infraction is the mildest form of a crime, while slightly more serious crimes are termed as misdemeanors in legal parlance. In Florida, crimes that are most serious or heinous in nature are known as felonies. How a crime is classified determines how the criminal charges in that case will be pursued.

The William Moore Law Firm is comprised of Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyers who have consistently delivered years of knowledge and experience to individual’s accused of Felony offenses in Broward County. Felony charges will have a drastic effect on an individuals life, liberty and future career goals. If you have been arrested for a Felony in Fort Lauderdale it is imperative for you to seek legal representation. Contact our Felony Attorneys at William Moore Criminal Defense, we can answer any legal questions you may have on a felony charge.

Most Serious Offense

A felony is classified as an offense of the most serious nature under all jurisdictions in the U.S. However, different jurisdictions segregate felonies into their own separate classes. Therefore, a repeat offender who is convicted of having committed a felony in an extremely heinous manner is likely to receive a harsher punishment than a first-time criminal convicted of having committed a felony in less heinous or less cruel manner.

Types of Felonies

The quantum of punishment in case a felony will vary according to the degree of the crime and the circumstances surrounding it. In the eyes of the common law, felonies were viewed as crimes that typically violated the society’s moral standards or involved abject moral degradation.

Today, however, many crimes that are still viewed as a violation of the society’s moral standards are classified as felonies. Such crimes include treason, terrorism, rape, murder, arson, robbery and kidnapping.

Punishment for a Felony

In general cases, a felony may be punishable by a monetary fine, or at least one year in prison, or both. Under many state laws, a felony is defined both by the length of imprisonment and the place of imprisonment.

For instance, many states incarcerate criminals convicted of misdemeanors in a local jail, where as criminals convicted of felonies are incarcerated in state prisons. The defendants charged with felony can get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Florida to try and defend their rights under the law.

Trial by Jury

A defendant charged with an offense of capital felony is entitled to have his or her case heard by a twelve-member jury that must give a unanimous verdict on the issue of guilt. A defendant charged with an offense of non-capital felony or misdemeanor may have his or her case heard by a jury of at least six members. The jury may reach a verdict without being unanimous, under certain jurisdictions in case of a non-capital felony or misdemeanor.

A defendant charged only with a petty offense or infraction is usually not given the right to trial by jury. Defendants who are incarcerated as a result of a charge of felony or misdemeanor are entitled to receive representation from a counsel appointed by the court of law. However, this entitlement is not available to defendants charged with misdemeanors or infractions that do not result in imprisonment.