What is a Misdemeanor? Can I go to jail for basic Misdemeanors?
A misdemeanor is any crime punishable by up to 1 year in County Jail and 12 months probation. So, yes, technically you can be sentenced to jail. But typically speaking, your attorney will be able to keep you out of jail on most misdemeanors.
Misdemeanors are heard exclusively in the County Courts, by County Court judges (as opposed to Felony cases, which are heard by Circuit Court judges). The County judges hear Misdemeanor level Traffic offenses like DUI or Driving While License Suspended and more traditional County Misdemeanor criminal offenses like simple battery, possession of marijuana, and Petit Theft shoplifting.
What are the best possible outcomes for Misdemeanor Cases?
For First Time Offenders, the criminal justice system has a way, sometimes, of treating people fairly, if your attorney knows what to do. In many cases, your attorney can explore factual defenses and find loopholes by filing motions based on the exclusionary rule (constitutional violations). Or if all else fails, you may be eligible for the MIP Program – the Misdemeanor Intervention Program. By successfully completing the terms of the MIP program, in Hillsborough County, your charges can be dismissed as soon as one or two months from the date of your court date.
Misdemeanors cases in Hillsborough County Court are heard at the courthouse annex located at two locations:
Hillsborough Court House Downtown Tampa (Take the main entrance on Twiggs St and cross the street to the Criminal Annex using the catwalk on the second floor once you enter)
County Divisions A, B, C, D, E, F, G, O
800 E. Twiggs St.
Tampa, FL 33602.
Hillsborough Courthouse Plant City
Divisions X, P
301 N. Michigan Avenue
Plant City, FL 33563
I was issued a court date, but not arrested. What is a Notice to Appear?
If you were stopped by cops and they issued you a written citation for a misdemeanor offense or traffic criminal offense, you were, technically speaking, ARRESTED for the offense. However, because you had some combination of a minimal criminal record and/or close ties to the community, the officer issued you a written arrest based upon your promise to attend court on the date written in the citation. That court appearance is mandatory. However, if you hire an attorney, we can waive your appearance to let you get back to work or your life while we fight the case on your behalf.
Common Misdemeanor Cases We Handle:
Possession of Marijuana Under 20 grams
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Driving Under the Influence DUI
DUI With Property Damage
Leaving the Scene of An Accident With Property Damage
Petit Theft Shoplifting (Petty Theft)
Violation of Domestic Violence Injunction
Unlawful Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
Criminal Mischief Vandalism
Obstructing an Officer Without Violence
Resisting an Officer Without Violence
Solicitation of Prostitution