Misdemeanors Lawyer in Key West, FL

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Being accused of a crime can be a confusing and stressful time. Even if you’re charged with a misdemeanor, you’re confronted with the possibility of jail time and substantial fines, which can result in losing your job, being away from your family, and significant financial difficulties. That’s when you need the advice of a misdemeanor lawyer.

Residents in Key West and the surrounding areas rely on the Law Offices of Richard Wunsch as defenders and protectors of their rights if they are charged with a misdemeanor. We understand that misdemeanor charges can profoundly affect the quality of your and your family’s life. Learn how serious misdemeanor charges can be and why hiring a lawyer for misdemeanors should be your priority if charged.

 

Misdemeanor Charges Explained

You can be charged with different degrees of a misdemeanor. First-degree misdemeanors are more serious than second-degree ones and have harsher consequences. First-degree misdemeanors can result in a $1000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both, while second-degree misdemeanors have lesser penalties of a $500 fine, up to 60 days in jail, or both.

Second-degree misdemeanor crimes can include:

  • Shoplifting and petty theft crimes with stolen property values of less than $100
  • Simple assault
  • Public intoxication
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Trespassing
  • A first conviction of driving on a suspended license
  • Hit and runs that only involve property damage

Some of the crimes you see under second-degree misdemeanors, such as driving while having a suspended license or theft crimes, can be upgraded to first-class misdemeanor crimes, depending on repeated offenses and the scope of the crime committed. Here are examples of first-degree misdemeanor crimes:

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis
  • Battery
  • Cyberstalking
  • Shoplifting and petty theft crimes with stolen property values of between $100 and $750
  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm

For a first or second-time DUI offense, you can be charged with a misdemeanor crime. However, the sentencing guidelines for DUI offenses are much harsher than the usual misdemeanor punishments. For example, for a first-time DUI offense, rather than the standard second-degree misdemeanor penalty of up to 60 days in jail, you might be confronted with up to six months in jail under this sentencing structure.

 

What Happens When Charged With a Misdemeanor in Keywest, FL?

Whether you are arrested or not, at some time, you’ll have to make a first appearance before a judge. The judge will make sure that you understand the charges levied against you and determine whether to release you until your trial date. A hearing or arraignment is held later to allow you to challenge the legalities of the charges or enter a plea.

Next comes a series of pre-trial hearings that allow opportunities to address the strength of the prosecutor’s case, resolve issues or problems with your case, or negotiate plea agreements. A jury will hear your case in the criminal trial phase if no plea agreements are made.

 

Misdemeanor Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard Wunsch Can Help

Now that you understand that misdemeanor charges, even for first-time offenders, can come with stiff penalties that you and your family may have to endure, you might be asking, do I need a lawyer for a first-time misdemeanor? Yes, you’ll need a lawyer for misdemeanors to understand the charges against you and to devise the best legal strategy for your circumstances. Our team of attorneys can collect discovery information, conduct additional investigations, and, if needed, negotiate plea agreements that are advantageous for you. We’ll also help you navigate the Florida criminal court processes, challenging the charges against you to either be dropped, reduced or result in a not-guilty verdict.

 

The Law Offices of Richard Wunsch: Your Trusted Defense Attorney for Misdemeanor Charges

If you’re charged with a misdemeanor in Key West and are wondering where to look for a misdemeanor lawyer, look no further than the Law Offices of Richard Wunsch for legal representation. You can trust our team of attorneys to protect your rights and provide solutions for misdemeanor cases. Contact us today!

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