Misdemeanors were know in common law as lesser criminal acts. While misdemeanors are far less serious offenses than felonies, convictions on misdemeanor charges can have serious implications. If an individual is convicted of a standard driving under the influence charge (DUI), that conviction will remain on a person’s record forever. DUIs will also remain a permanent part of a driving record and cause auto insurance premiums to go through the roof. Other misdemeanor convictions such as marijuana possession and petit theft can lead to a person not becoming a U.S. citizen or even worse, lead to deportation proceedings. A conviction for marijuana possession will also result in two year driver’s license suspension. Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable up to a year in the county jail. While jail is not the typical result, the other negative consequences of a misdemeanor conviction require retaining the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT to defend the charges and avoid the many unintended consequences of a misdemeanor charge on your record.
Criminal mischief can be charged both as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the dollar amount of damage to the property. For an individual to be charged with criminal mischief, the prosecution must prove that a defendant injured or damaged property; that the property belonged to a person; and that the damage was done willfully and maliciously. If the damage caused is less than $200, a second degree misdemeanor will be charged. If the damage is between $200 and $1,000, a 1st degree misdemeanor will be charged. If the damage exceeds $1,000, a third degree felony will be charged. Most criminal mischief charges are a secondary result of a primary charge. For example, if an individual burglarizes a home by way of a forced entry causing damage to a door or window, not only will the offense of dwelling burglary be charged, but the state will also file the charge of criminal mischief as a result of the damage to the door or window.
Disorderly conduct exists when an individual commits an act or acts that corrupt the public morals, outrage the sense of public decency, affect the peace and quiet of others who observe the acts, of brawling or fighting, or constitute a breach of the peace. The statue, while simple on its face is difficult to prove in court. Most police reports indicate that the actions of a particular defendant caused a crowd to gather. The Florida appellate courts have held that a gathering crowd does not constitute a breach of the peace. Many tourists and vacationers are charged by overzealous police officers for this crime. In most cases, the facts alleged by the officers do not amount to the offense of disorderly conduct. Criminal defense attorneys at DMT have successfully argued and won motions to dismiss on behalf of their clients.
Disorderly intoxication is another offense for which the local police enjoy arresting tourists and vacationers. Like disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication is a difficult charge to prove in a court of law. Disorderly intoxication is committed when an individual becomes intoxicated to the point that the safety of persons or property are endangered or an individual is intoxicated in a public place or conveyance to the extent that he or she causes a public disturbance. The state can rarely prove that a person’s conduct created a public disturbance. Additionally, police officers do not conduct field sobriety exercises which make it difficult to prove the element of intoxication.
Resisting an Officer Without Violence
Resisting an officer without violence is an offense which is usually charged in conjunction with another crime. An individual commits the offense by resisting, obstructing or opposing a law enforcement officer in the law execution of his or her duties. A typical resisting an officer without violence case occurs when a person refuses to be handcuffed or flees on foot from police officers. However, if the officer makes an illegal arrest which is outside the law execution of his or her duties, a motion to dismiss the charge can be argued and won in court.
Soliciting for Prostitution
A popular, but altogether humiliating offense is soliciting for prostitution. Soliciting for prostitution occurs when an individual offers, or offers to agree to secure, another person for purpose of committing prostitution or other lewd and indecent acts. It is also a violation of Florida law, to receive or offer to receive any person into a structure, place, building or conveyance for the purpose of committing prostitution. A first or second offense for soliciting for prostitution is a misdemeanor, however, a third or subsequent offense can actually be charged as a third degree felony.
A person commits trespassing by willfully entering a structure, conveyance or dwelling without the authorization of the property owner. Trespass and burglary are very similar offenses with the exception that the state does not have to prove in a trespass case that an individual entered a structure, conveyance or dwelling with the intent to commit an offense therein. All trespass crimes are misdemeanors with the exception of when someone commits a trespass carrying a firearm or other deadly weapon. If that is the case, the state can charge a third degree felony.
If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor of any kind, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your case. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend your case. You can call our office at (305) 444-0030 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e-mail.