Criminal Defense Lawyers

Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

What Is the Florida Criminal Process?

If you’ve been accused, charged or arrested on a criminal charge in Florida, Georgia or Alabama, you want to know what is going to happen to you. Feel free to call us for guidance through the legal hurdles.

There are two classification of crime severity- felony and misdemeanor.

Florida Felony Charges

In Florida, a felony is generally defined as any crime punishable by more than one year in prison (state penitentiary / correctional facility). §775.08, Fla. Stat. Felonies are divided into different degrees.

Maximum Imprisonment and Fines for Felonies

*Capital Felony: death or life imprisonment with no parole

*Life Felony: 40 years to life; $15,000

*Felony in the First Degree: 30 years; $10,000

*Felony in the Second Degree: 15 years; $10,000

*Felony in the Third Degree: 5 years; $5,000

Florida Misdemeanor Charges

A misdemeanor is any crime punishable by imprisonment for less than one year in a county correctional facility.

Misdemeanors are divided into different degree.

Maximum Imprisonment and Fines for Misdemeanors

*Misdemeanor in the First Degree: 1 year; $1,000

*Misdemeanor in the Second Degree: 60 days; $500

Florida Criminal Court Procedures and Legal Process

The criminal court procedures in Florida can be confusing and this is a very stressful tine in your (and your family’s life). A good defense attorney will not only navigate this process for you and with you, but will help you understand all the steps, the court appearances, what is expected of you, and what is likely to happen to you – each and every step of the way.

The most common steps in the process are as follows:

Arrest

In Florida a person may be arrested or, in some cases, issued a criminal summons to appear in court for his/her arraignment. Following an arrest, the individual will likely be taken to a police station. At the police station the accused will be booked and advised generally as to the charges against him/her. However, these charges may be later amended and stated in more detail by the State’s attorney. The booking process involves providing the police background information. The individual may also have his/her fingerprints and/or photograph taken. You have an absolute right to counsel before talking or appearing in any investigative processes.

Bail

In most cases, defendants must make an appearance before a judge who will first determine if bond is appropriate, and then sets the amount of the bond. The court determines the bond amount by considering, amongst other factors, the defendant’s potential danger to the community and/or whether he is a risk of flight. The individual may be released without paying for bail or a bond upon personal recognizance / ROR (a promise to appear in court when directed), or released on bail, which involves the posting of either cash money or a surety bond as security for his/her court appearance. Bail bonds from licensed bail bondsmen are available, usually at a cost of 10 percent of the total amount of bail.

Some serious offenses, like first-degree murder, are deemed “non-bondable” and thus, a defendant is unable to bond out immediately. Defendants charged with domestic violence offenses are also unable to bond out immediately. By law, they are required to appear before a judge prior to leaving custody.

In Juvenile cases in Florida, a bond hearing is held within twenty-four hours of arrest but is called a Detention Review Hearing.

Arraignment

After bail has been set, the defendant will be arraigned in court. An arraignment is a short hearing in which a plea is entered. In Florida, a defendant may enter a plea of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” If a plea of not guilty is entered, then a trial date will be set.

If a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” is entered then a sentencing date will be set, generally after the court has received a pre-sentence investigation report from probation.  Usually, arraignment is scheduled several weeks after the initial arrest or summons. Attendance is mandatory unless the court permits defense counsel to file a waiver of arraignment. Waivers of Arraignment are not allowed in most Juvenile cases.

If you are going to an arraignment without an attorney, always plead not guilty. Do not agree to plead guilty or no contest. Do not make any statements about the facts of your case to anyone without an attorney present.

You will leave the arraignment with a court date for a Pretrial Hearing.

Discovery

Once you have an attorney, he or she will start gathering and analyzing the evidence against you.  That evidence may consist of police reports, analysis of any chemical evidence against you, such as breath tests or blood tests, and prosecution witness testimony. If there are witnesses against you, your attorney may ask for a deposition to find out what the witness saw and will testify to in court. Official court depositions are typical only in Florida felony cases, so in a misdemeanor case, we may want to send an investigator to informally ask questions of any potential witnesses.

Pretrial Hearing

At a pretrial hearing, you and your attorney will speak to the prosecutor and see if a deal can be worked out. If a deal, or a plea bargain is agreed to, you will go before a judge and plead guilty or no contest with the agreed upon penalties. If not, your case will be set for a trial at a future court date.

Florida law requires that defense attorneys and prosecutors discuss settlement of every criminal case. A settlement of a criminal case is otherwise known as a “Plea Bargain.”  Though every defendant has a right to hold the government to its burden of proof, it may be in your best interest to agree to a plea to the court. A plea bargain can drastically reduce the penalty for an individual.  An experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer will know whether you are getting a fair offer, and will be able to assess the facts of your case and give you a realistic appraisal of the likely outcome of fighting your case at trial.

Trial

In Florida there are Jury Trials and Bench Trials.  Jury Trials are trials in which six to twelve people, representing a “fair cross-section of the community,” are selected to hear the evidence and render a verdict. They are selected from motor vehicle registration in the State and voter registration in federal court.  Jurors do not decide legal issues, only a judge does. A judge makes decisions regarding what evidence will be allowed, and so forth. In other words, jurors decide issues about the facts, the judge decides issues of law.  Bench Trials are trials in which the judge hears the facts in addition to ruling on legal issues. In other words, the judge decides both the legal and the factual matters.

Under Florida criminal procedures, some criminal cases are only heard in a bench trial, such as probation violations. Also, in Juvenile cases, all trials are bench trials unless the juvenile has been waived up to adult court by the prosecutor.

Types of Crimes
Assault


An assault is the intentional and unlawful threat, by word or act, of violence against a victim in which the defendant has the ability to carry out the threat and the victim has a well-founded fear that violence is imminent. Assault is a second degree misdemeanor, which has a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. FL Criminal Statute §784.011. Aggravated assault is assault with a deadly weapon in which the defendant did not have an intent to kill but did have an intent to commit a felony. Aggravated assault is a third degree felony, which has a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail and a $5000 fine. FL Criminal Statute §784.021.

Battery

Battery is the intentional touching or striking of a victim against his or her will causing the victim harm. Battery is a first degree misdemeanor, which has a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. A Second Offense Battery charge becomes a felony battery (3rd degree felony) with a penalty of up to 5 years in jail an a maximum $5000 fine. FL Criminal Statute §784.03.  Aggravated battery results when the defendant intentionally or knowingly causes the victim great bodily harm, permanently disables or disfigures the victim, uses a deadly weapon or knew (or should have known) the victim was pregnant. Aggravated battery is a second degree felony, which has a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. FL Criminal Statute §784.045.

Carjacking

Carjacking is the forcible or violent taking of a motor vehicle from a person or the owner with the intent of either permanently or temporarily depriving the person or owner of the motor vehicle. Carjacking is a first degree felony.

Concealed Weapon

A concealed weapon can be almost any  “deadly weapon” carried on a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the sight of another person.  It can be charged very broadly.  FL Statutes. §790.01

Criminal Mischief

Criminal mischief may have been committed if a Defendant willfully and maliciously damaged someone else’s property. This law includes graffiti and vandalism. The penalty you face for criminal mischief depends on the value of the damage done. If the value is $200 or less, the general charge is a 2nd degree misdemeanor (Up 60 days in jail and $500 in fines).  If the value is $200- $1,000, it is a 1st degree misdemeanor (Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines).  If the value is $1,000 or more, it is a 3rd degree felony (Up to 15 years in jail and $10,000 in fines).  Fl. Stat. §806.13

Disorderly Conduct

An individual commits “disorderly conduct” if he/she behaves in such a way that his/her conduct creates a threat to the life or safety of other people.  Disorderly conduct is a first degree misdemeanor under Florida criminal law (FL. Statute §509.143).

Drug Possession

  • Possession of Marijuana (20 grams or less) – Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a First Degree  Misdemeanor A 1st degree misdemeanor has a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine.  Florida Criminal Statute – §893.13(6)(b)
  • Possession of Marijuana (more than 20 grams) – Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a Third Degree  Felony. A 3rd degree felony has a maximum penalty of 5 year in jail and a $5000 fine. Florida Criminal Statute – §893.13(6)(a)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy) – Possession of a Controlled Substance, which could be cocaine, heroin, meth, ecstasy, or other illegal drugs is a 3rd Degree Felony. A Third degree penalty carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail and up to a $5000 fine.  Florida Criminal Statute – §893.13(6)(a)
  • Possession of More than 10 grams of Heroin – Possession of more than 10 grams of Heroin (and/or most Schedule I drugs and related opiate substances as listed in §893.03(1)(a) or (1)(b) ) is a 1st Degree Felony. A first degree felony has a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Florida Criminal Statute – §893.13(6)(c)
  • Possession of an Unlawful Chemical – Possession of a listed chemical with the intent to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance is a 2nd Degree Felony. These chemicals may include ingredients to make methamphetamines, ecstasy, GHB, or other drugs. A second degree felony has a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Florida Criminal Statute – §893.149
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – The use, possession, manufacture, delivery or advertisement of drug paraphernalia is a 1st Degree Misdemeanor.  Drug paraphernalia as defined under Florida law may include pipes, bongs, other smoking devices, spoons, needles, syringes, scales, measuring or preparation devices, containers, bags, and other items.  A first degree misdemeanor has a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. See §893.147, Fla. Stat.

DUI/DWI

  • Under Florida Law, an individual is guilty of driving under the influence if he/she is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state, and:
  • He/she is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any substance, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired; or
  • He/she has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (over .08 BAC); or
  • He/she has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath (over .08 BrAC).

Florida DUI penalties differ depending on the number of prior DUI convictions and/or the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

1st Offense (First) – Misdemeanor DUI Penalties

  • Jail for up to 180 days;
  • Probation for up to 1 year (however; the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year);
  • A fine of $250 – $500;
  • License suspension for 6 months – 1 year;
  • 50 hours of community service (in the alternative may pay $10 per hour of community service);
  • DUI School, Level 1;
  • One of Defendant’s cars will be impounded for 10 days.

1st Offense Enhanced DUI (BAC Over .15%)– Misdemeanor DUI Penalties

  • Jail for up to 270 days;
  • A fine of $500 – $1000;
  • An Interlock Ignition Device must be installed in Defendant’s car, and remain for up to 6 months.
  • * If there is an accident, the defendant may be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail.

Second (2nd) Offense (1st more than 5 years earlier) Florida DUI Penalties – Misdemeanor

  • Jail for up to 270 days;
  • Probation for up to 1 year;
  • A fine of $500 – $1000;
  • License suspension for 6 months – 1 year;
  • DUI School, Level 2;
  • All of the Defendant’s cars will be impounded for 10 days;
  • An Interlock Ignition Device must be installed in Defendant’s car, and remain for 1 year.

Second (2nd) Offense Enhanced (the 1st offense having occurred more than 5 years prior) Florida DUI Penalties – Misdemeanor

  • Jail for up to 364 days;
  • A fine of $1000 – $2000;
  • The Interlock Ignition Device must be installed in Defendant’s car, and remain for 2 years.
  • * If there is an accident, the defendant may be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail.

Second (2nd) Offense (the 1st offense having occurred within the past 5 years) Florida DUI Penalties – Misdemeanor

  • Mandatory 10 days in jail, but may be up to 270 days;
  • Probation for up to 1 year;
  • A fine of $500 – $1000;
  • License suspension for 5 years;
    - DUI School, Level 2;
  • All of the Defendant’s cars will be impounded for 30 days;
  • The Interlock Ignition Device will be installed in Defendant’s car, and remain for 1 year.

Second (2nd) Offense Enhanced (the 1st offense having occurred within the past 5 years) Florida DUI Penalties – Misdemeanor

  • Mandatory 10 days in jail, but it may be up to 364 days;
  • A fine of $1000 – $2000;
  • The Interlock Ignition Device will be installed in Defendant’s car, and remain for 2 years.
  • * If there is an accident, the defendant may be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail.

Third (3rd) Offense Florida DUI Penalties (the 2nd offense having occurred more than 10 years prior) – Misdemeanor

  • Jail for up to 364 days;
  • Probation for up to 1 year;
  • A fine of $1000 – $2500;
  • License suspension for 6 months – 1 year;
    - DUI School, Level 2;
  • All of the Defendant’s cars will be impounded for 10 days;
  • The Interlock Ignition Device will be installed in Defendant’s car, and remain for 2 years.

Third (3rd) Offense Enhanced Florida DUI Penalties (the 2nd offense having occurred more than 10 years prior) – Misdemeanor

  1. A fine of $2000 – $5000

Third (3rd) Offense Florida DUI Penalties (the 2nd offense having occurred within the past 10 years) – 3rd Degree Felony

  • Jail from 30 days to 5 years;
  • Probation for up to 5 years; A fine of $1000 – $5000;
  • License suspension for 10 years;
  • DUI School, Level 2;
  • All of Defendant’s cars will be impounded for 90 days;
  • The Interlock Ignition Device will be installed in Defendant’s car; and remain for 2 years.
  • * There is no difference in sentence if there was an accident

Fourth (4th) Offense Florida DUI Penalties (the 3rd offense having occurred more than 10 years prior) – 3rd Degree Felony.

  • All 4th Offense DUIs should be reviewed to determine if the offense is coupled as a 2nd DUI within 5 years, and/or a 3rd DUI within 10 years.
  • Jail up to 5 years;
  • Probation for up to 5 years;
  • A fine of $1000 – $5000;
  • Permanent loss of license;
  • All of Defendant’s cars will be impounded for 10 days;
  • No Interlock Ignition Device as the Defendant’s license will be permanently suspended.

Fourth (4th) Offense Florida DUI Penalties (the 3rd offense having occurred within the last 10 years) – 3rd degree Felony

  • Jail from 30 days up to 5 years;
  • All of the Defendant’s car will be impounded for 90 days.
  • References: Florida DUI Statue §316.193
  • Other Notes-
  • If a driver refused to take a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for DUI in Florida, or if the results of the breath test were .08% blood-alcohol or above, the individual only has ten days to request a hearing in order to challenge the administrative suspension of his/her driver’s license.
  • Enhanced penalties apply if the driver’s BAC is .15% or over) (previous to that ,it was .20% BAC) or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the offense.

Driving with a Suspended License

If you are found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while your license is under suspension, you will be convicted of a second degree misdemeanor penalty under Florida criminal law. A 2nd degree misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.  A second offense suspended license charge is a first degree misdemeanor (up to 1 year and $1000 fine).  A third or subsequent offense driving on a suspended license charge is a third degree felony, which brings the maximum penalty up to 5 years in prison and $5000 in fines. The prosecutor needs to prove that you were aware of the suspension to convict you. Evidence could be statements that you’ve made, proof that you received the notification, or a prior conviction is also sufficient proof that you were aware that your driver’s license was under suspension.

Driving with a Revoked License

If you are found guilty of operating a motor vehicle after your license has been revoked, you are charged with a  be convicted of a third degree felony under Florida criminal traffic laws. If you are convicted of a 3rd degree felony, you risk penalties of up to 5 years in prison and up to a $5000 fine.

Fraud / Worthless Checks

If you pass a check that you have reasonable knowledge will not clear the bank, or if you write a check on a closed account you could face a worthless check charge. Though common, the penalty for worthless checks is anything but light.  Worthless checks is a 1st degree misdemeanor charge that carries a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1,000. However, if there are multiple checks that add up to more than $150 or the value of a single worthless check is over $150 you will face 3rd degree felony charges and a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.  Fl. Stat. §832.05

If you have stopped payment with an intent to defraud despite receiving something of value in exchange for it, it is a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500.  However, if the value of the check(s) in question is more than $150, you could be facing charges of a felony in the 3rd degree which carries a potential penalty of up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.  Fl. Stat. §832.041

If you make false statements to obtain property or credit to your financial situation or otherwise, you will face a 1st degree misdemeanor offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 1 year in prison and fines up to $1,000.  This includes lying on credit applications.  Fl. Stat. §817.03

Identity theft is another category that falls into this category.  The statute makes it illegal to use such things as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and other identifying information for fraudulent purposes.  If you use, or even possess someone else’s identifying information without their consent you can be charged with a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.  If you use the information for gain and the value gained is more than $5,000, your charge can be elevated to a 2nd degree felony. A second degree felony carries a potential sentence of 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. With this offense you will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison.  F. Stat. §817.568

Harassment / Stalking

Under Florida law, if you willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow, harass, or cyberstalk another person, you can be charged with stalking.  Stalking that causes substantial emotional stress to the alleged victim and serves no legitimate purpose is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines reaching $1,000.  However, you may be charged with a more serious aggravated stalking if the actions include a “credible threat with the intent to put that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury” of themselves or a family member.  Aggravated stalking is considered a 3rd degree felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.  If you commit stalking and it is in violation of an injunction for protection, you will be charged with aggravated stalking even if there was no threat made.  Fl. Stat. §784.048.

 

Hit & Run

The charge depends on the circumstances and severity of the accident. If you fail to stop and exchange information following an accident that results ONLY in property damage, you could face 2nd degree misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500.  Fl. Stat. §316.061.  If the accident you were involved in resulted in someone being injured you will face far more serious 3rd degree felony charges that carry a potential sentence of up to 15 years and $10,000 in fines. Also, you will be required to pay restitution to the other driver and your driver’s license can be revoked.

Homicide

Homicide is the unjustified killing of a human being. Homicide can be classified as murder or manslaughter. Under Florida law, there are three degrees of murder. Murder in the first degree is the premeditated killing or the death of a person during the commission of one of the following enumerated felonies: drug trafficking, arson, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, escape (from detention, arrest, trial or punishment), aggravated child abuse, aircraft piracy, bombing, fatal drug distribution, carjacking or home invasion robbery. A person can be convicted of first degree murder even though he or she did not actually kill anyone, did not plan to kill anyone, or was not present at the crime scene but was involved in the commission of an enumerated felony that resulted in a person’s death.

  • Murder in the first degree is a capital felony.
  • Murder in the second degree is an unjustified killing perpetrated by “an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life” or the killing of a person during the commission of an enumerated felony in which the defendant was not the killer but was involved in committing the felony. Murder in the second degree is a first degree felony.
  • Murder in the third degree occurs when a person kills during the commission of a nonenumerated felony. Murder in the third degree is a second degree felony.
  • Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a person that does not rise to the definitional level of a murder. Manslaughter is a second degree felony.

Kidnapping

Kidnapping is the forcible and secret abducting, confining or imprisoning of a victim against his or her will with intent to (1) collect a ransom, (2) commit or facilitate the commission of a felony, (3) inflict bodily harm or terrorize the victim, or (4) interfere with any governmental or political function. Kidnapping is a first degree felony. Anyone who kidnaps a child under the age of 13 and commits aggravated child abuse, sexual battery or a lewd act in the presence of the child commits a life felony.

Reckless Driving

You may be charged with reckless driving if there is probable cause that you drove with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property.  If this is your first reckless driving offense, you will face up to 90 days in jail and fines of $25-$500.  If this is your second or subsequent reckless driving charge you will face up to 6 months in jail and fines of $50-$1,000.  The potential penalty increases if there was damage or injury caused by your reckless driving.  If the driving results in damage to property you will face 1st degree misdemeanor charges with a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1,000.  If the reckless driving results in serious bodily injury of another person, however, you will face 3rd degree felony charges which carry a potential sentence of 15 years in prison and $10,000.  A reckless driving conviction will also add 4 points to your Florida DMV record.  If you are found guilty of 3 reckless driving offenses within a year you could lose your license permanently.  Fl. Stat. §316.192

Restraining Order Violation

If you are found to be in violation of a restraining order or protective injunction in the state of Florida you may be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines reaching $1,000.  Fl. Stat. §741.31.  Depending on what occurred during the violation, you may face additional charges. For instance, if you are found stalking and in violation of a restraining order, the charge is elevated to aggravated stalking, a felony.

Robbery

Robbery is the forcible, violent or threatening taking of property from another with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or owner of the property. Robbery is a second degree felony. If in the course of a robbery the defendant carries a firearm or other deadly weapon, the robbery is a first degree felony. Home invasion robbery occurs when the defendant enters a victim’s home and robs the occupants in their dwelling. Home invasion robbery is a first degree felony.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is used to describe both forcible rape and statutory rape (sexual relations with a minor). This includes oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sex organ of another, or the anal or vaginal penetration by any other object. Depending on the circumstances, sexual battery can be a capital felony, life felony or a first or second degree felony. Anyone soliciting another to engage in an act that would constitute sexual battery is guilty of a third degree felony.

Stalking

Any person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person is committing the crime of stalking, a first degree misdemeanor. Aggravated stalking occurs when a stalker makes “a credible threat with the intent to place a person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury.” Aggravated stalking is a third degree felony.

Theft

Florida has combined the crimes of larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses and receiving stolen property into the category of theft. Theft penalties are sorted by degrees according to the value of the items taken.

  • First (1st) Degree Grand Theft – If the stolen property is valued at $100,000 or more, then the defendant will be charged with 1st Degree Grand Theft, which is a 1st Degree Felony. First degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
  • 2nd Degree Grand Theft – If the stolen property is valued between $20,000 and $99,999, then the defendant will be charged with 2nd Degree Grand Theft, which is a 2nd Degree Felony.  Second degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
  • 3rd Degree Grand Theft – If the stolen property is valued between $300 and $19,999, then the defendant will be charged with 3rd Degree Grand Theft, which is a 3rd Degree Felony. A charge of third degree grand theft also applies if the property take is a firearm, a motor vehicle, a commercially farmed animal, a fire extinguisher, any amount of fruit consisting of 2,000 or more individual pieces, any stop sign, construction signs, or anhydrous ammonia.   The penalty for a third degree felony is a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
  • 1st Degree Petit Theft (First Degree Petty Theft) – If the property stolen is valued between $100 and $299, then the defendant will be charged with a 1st Degree Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine.  However, if the defendant has been convicted twice of any theft crime, then he/she will be charged with a 3rd Degree Felony (5 yrs/$5000 max penalty)
  • 2nd Degree Petit Theft (Second Degree Petty Theft) – If the property stolen is valued at less than $100 or not specified in any other theft statute,  then the defendant will be charged with a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Threat / Extortion

Extortion is threatening (verbally or in writing) to injure someone, their property, or their reputation or threatening to expose secrets or disgrace them in order to gain money or to get the alleged victim to do something.  Threat or extortion is a 2nd degree felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.  Fl. Stat. §836.05.  Commonly referred to as Florida’s harassment law, written threats to kill or do bodily injury includes any letters or written communication that includes threats of harm or death. The letter can threaten the receiver or any member of their family.  This offense is a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.  Fl. Stat.§ 836.10.