Understanding First Degree Misdemeanors in Florida: Classes and Penalties

September 4, 2023

Table of Contents

Understanding First-Degree Misdemeanors in Florida: Classes and Penalties Misdemeanors in Florida can range from minor offenses to more serious crimes, with varying degrees of punishment. First-degree misdemeanors hold a significant position in the classification of offenses. To comprehend the implications and consequences, let’s delve into what first-degree misdemeanors entail. First-degree misdemeanors refer to criminal offenses that are more severe than second-degree misdemeanors but less serious than felonies, potentially endangering public safety. Florida classifies first-degree misdemeanors into Class “A” and Class “B,” each carrying distinct penalties. Class “A” misdemeanors are more severe, with stiffer penalties, while Class “B” are relatively less serious. Penalties for first-degree misdemeanors can include fines, probation, community service, driver’s license suspension, and imprisonment, depending on the offense’s nature and its degree of felony severity. Seeking legal assistance and understanding defense options are vital when facing such charges, enabling individuals to navigate the legal system effectively.

Understanding First-Degree Misdemeanors in Florida

Understanding First-Degree Misdemeanors in Florida is crucial for residents of the state. These misdemeanors encompass serious offenses such as assault, domestic violence, DUI, and drug possession, carrying penalties that can include a year in county jail and fines up to $1,000. Additionally, probation, community service, and counseling programs may be imposed, varying in severity based on specific circumstances.

What are First Degree Misdemeanors?

First-degree misdemeanors are crimes in Florida considered more serious than second-degree misdemeanors. They are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Some examples of first-degree misdemeanors include simple assault, petit theft, and possession of marijuana (less than 20 grams). These crimes are considered less severe than felonies but still carry significant penalties and can have long-lasting consequences on a person’s record.

How are Misdemeanors Classified in Florida?

In Florida, misdemeanors are classified based on the severity of the offense and the potential penalties involved. There are two main classes of misdemeanors: Class “A” misdemeanors and Class “B” misdemeanors.

Class “A” misdemeanors are considered more serious offenses with higher penalties. They can result in up to one year of incarceration in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Some examples of Class “A” misdemeanors in Florida include driving under the influence (DUI) and possessing marijuana under 20 grams.

On the other hand, Class “B” misdemeanors are less serious offenses and have lower penalties. They can lead to a maximum of 60 days in county jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. Petty theft and disorderly conduct are common examples of “B” misdemeanors.

It is important to understand that the classification of a specific offense as a Class “A” or Class “B” misdemeanor is determined by the Florida Statutes. The severity of the offense and potential penalties vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and any prior criminal history of the individual involved.

Knowing how misdemeanors are classified in Florida is crucial in understanding the potential consequences of a criminal offense. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, it is advisable to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can explain your legal rights and options.

Classes of First-Degree Misdemeanors

Class “A” First Degree Misdemeanor

A Class “A” First Degree Misdemeanor in Florida is a serious offense with significant penalties. Conviction can lead to up to one year in county jail, fines of up to $1,000, probation for a year, mandatory community service hours, and, in some cases, driver’s license suspension. Given the gravity of the crime and these consequences, it is crucial for individuals facing such charges to seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide guidance, evaluate their unique case, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances and evidence involved.

Class “B” First Degree Misdemeanor

A Class “B” First Degree Misdemeanor in Florida is a serious offense with penalties that individuals should be aware of for legal defense purposes. While these offenses are considered less severe than Class “A” misdemeanors, they still carry significant consequences, including fines up to $1,000, probation lasting up to six months, and a potential jail sentence of up to 60 days, depending on the offense and prior convictions. When charged with a Class “B” First Degree Misdemeanor, seeking legal counsel is vital for understanding the case’s nuances, evaluating available defenses, and safeguarding one’s rights, as being convicted of these charges can have enduring personal and professional repercussions.

Penalties for First-Degree Misdemeanors


Fines are a common penalty for first-degree misdemeanors in Florida, with the amount varying based on the specific offense. Class “A” first-degree misdemeanors can result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, while Class “B” first-degree misdemeanors may incur fines between $50 and $500. Some offenses have predetermined fine amounts dictated by law, and court costs and fees may also apply. When determining fine amounts, the court considers the offense’s severity and the defendant’s criminal history. For those unable to pay the full fine upfront, the court may offer payment plans or alternative restitution methods, like probation or community service. Failure to pay fines can lead to consequences such as misdemeanor penalties such as driver’s license suspension or increased fines.


Probation is a common penalty for first-degree misdemeanors in Florida, with varying durations typically spanning six months to a year. During probation, individuals must adhere to specific conditions, including reporting to a probation officer, attending counseling or rehabilitation programs, paying fines or restitution, and refraining from further offenses. Probation involves regular supervision by a probation officer, who monitors compliance and may conduct random drug tests or home visits. Violating probation conditions can result in additional fines, extended probation, community service, or imprisonment. Probation often serves as an alternative to incarceration, although its availability depends on the judge’s discretion, considering the offense’s nature and the individual’s criminal history.

Community Service

Community service is a common penalty for first-degree misdemeanors in Florida, requiring offenders to complete a designated number of hours to make amends and contribute positively to the community. The hours required can vary depending on the offense’s severity and the judge’s discretion, with placements at nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or community-based groups. This form of restitution not only helps offenders give back but also fosters a sense of responsibility and empathy. It offers opportunities for skill development and personal growth. Taking community service seriously is crucial, as failing to fulfill obligations can result in additional legal consequences. By completing their community service, offenders can demonstrate a commitment to positive change and potentially mitigate the first offense of a misdemeanor’s impact on their record.

Driver’s License Suspension

Driver’s license suspension in Florida is an important penalty for first-degree misdemeanors. Conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor crime can lead to suspending a person’s driver’s license. This suspension temporarily revokes their privilege to drive a motor vehicle in Florida. The duration of the suspension depends on the specific circumstances and the severity of the offense. It is worth noting that not all first-degree misdemeanors automatically result in a driver’s license suspension. Typically, the suspension is imposed for offenses related to motor vehicle operating, such as DUI or reckless driving. It is crucial for individuals facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge to seek legal counsel from an attorney. A skilled attorney can offer guidance and explore potential legal defenses to mitigate the penalties, including avoiding a driver’s license suspension. Complying with any court-set requirements is vital if a person’s driver’s license is suspended. These requirements may include attending traffic school or completing a substance abuse program, which is necessary to reinstate driving privileges.


In Florida, imprisonment for first-degree misdemeanors can significantly impact offenders’ lives, with Class “A” misdemeanors carrying a maximum sentence of one year and Class “B” misdemeanors up to 60 days in jail. The purpose is to deter misconduct and hold individuals accountable. During incarceration, offenders lose personal freedom and must adhere to facility rules. Like an experienced criminal defense attorney, seeking legal counsel is crucial for navigating the legal process, exploring defense options, and potentially negotiating plea deals, alternative sentences, or evidence challenges. Understanding the potential consequences, including imprisonment, is essential for informed decisions and effective legal defense in first-degree misdemeanor cases.

Legal Defense and Options

Facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge in Florida necessitates a comprehensive understanding of legal defense and available options. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is paramount for constructing a robust legal defense and exploring all potential avenues. They can scrutinize evidence, challenge the legitimacy of the arrest, and safeguard your rights throughout the legal proceedings. One viable defense involves contesting the evidence by questioning witness credibility, disputing test or forensic accuracy, or highlighting law enforcement procedural errors. Alternatively, negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution is an option, potentially leading to reduced charges or participation in a diversion program for minimized penalties or charge dismissal upon meeting specific requirements. Should your constitutional rights be infringed upon during the arrest or investigation, pursuing a suppression motion as part of your legal defense can exclude evidence obtained through the violation, weakening the prosecution’s case. While each case is unique, comprehending your legal defense and exploring all available options is essential when navigating the legal system, with a knowledgeable attorney’s guidance and protecting your rights.

Free Mugshot Removal Analysis

  • By providing your contact information, you consent to receiving regular text message/email and phone communication from Erasemugshots.com
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Table of Contents

Request Free Mugshot Removal Analysis

  • By providing your contact information, you consent to receiving regular text message/email and phone communication from Erasemugshots.com

erase mugshots red logo

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

We offer a total mugshot removal solution to remove your mugshot and arrest details from the internet once and for all.