Each crime is classified according to its severity. The mildest crimes are known as infractions, more severe crimes are known as misdemeanors, and the gravest crimes are known as felonies.

The way each crime is classified influences the substance and procedures of the criminal charge. That’s why it is imperative to understand the differences between the classifications. If you’ve been wrongfully accused of a felony charge, read on below for more information, or speak with a criminal attorney to learn how they can defend you.

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Misdemeanor and Felony Differences

Felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions are the three classifications of crimes used in most states. Misdemeanors, generally, are punishable by substantial fines and sometimes jail time, usually less than one year.

Felonies are the most serious type of crime and are often classified by degrees, with a first-degree felony being the most severe. Felonies may include terrorism, treason, arson, murder, rape, robbery, burglary, and kidnapping, among others.

A felony charge will stay on your record for life. The only way to remove a felony from your record is through a strict process called expungement. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida about expunging your felonies, or read on below for more.

Florida Felonies and Repercussions

Felonies are serious and oftentimes, violent crimes. The process of being convicted of a felony requires many steps, and these convictions aren’t taken lightly. If someone is convicted of a felony, the crime stays on their record permanently so that landlords, employers, banks, and law enforcement can see any felony they’ve ever been convicted of.

How Long Does a Felony Stay on your Record?

Unfortunately, a felony doesn’t ever go away unless you go through an exacting process to have it expunged. Although many states don’t allow employers to ask about felony convictions on applications, many employers find past felonies through a criminal background check or asking during the interview process.

Felony Expungement

Requirements for expunging a record vary by state, and many states don’t allow violent felony offenders to expunge their records once they’ve been convicted. That’s why the accused works with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer when facing felony charges.

Some states allow youthful offenders to expunge their records, and other states require proof of rehabilitation. Getting a felony expunged can be a difficult process, and each state has very specific rules about what can and cannot be expunged. Speak with a criminal law expert in your Florida community today for more information.

Three Strikes Laws

Habitual offenders are punished more harshly under three-strike laws. Those who repeatedly commit felonies, known as habitual felons, may be subject to enhanced punishments under each state’s sentencing guidelines.

The federal government and many states impose substantially harsher penalties on a person who has two prior serious criminal offenses and is now convicted of a third. If you’ve demonstrated a history of serious felony charges, especially violent ones, states believe your sentences should be more severe.

Some critics feel it’s unfair to punish habitual offenders with extra-long sentences when their recidivism lies with the government’s failure to create effective rehabilitation programs.

If you can’t have your felony expunged, having multiple felonies on your record can be just as harmful. Speak with a Florida felony lawyer today about how to protect yourself from the effects of being charged and convicted of a serious criminal offense.

Felonies and Immigration

If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, being convicted of a felony can affect your immigration status. When convicted, the government may decide to initiate deportation proceedings and return the individual to their country of origin.

Even people who are lawful permanent residents, green card holders, and family members can be deported if they have committed serious enough crimes. Typically, immigrants convicted of felonies will be required to serve their sentence, and then, upon release, they will be deported.

A defendant who is not a U.S. citizen should take into consideration possible impacts on their immigration status and speak with an adept attorney who understands the criminal court procedures in their community and has experience in Florida immigration law.

Why you Need a Florida Felony Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, and you want a skillful criminal defense attorney in FL by your side. A certified criminal trial law specialist by your side during a criminal proceeding is a great strategy for saving yourself from the possible consequences of a felony conviction.

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