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WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT IF I'VE NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE BEFORE

The answer is "it depends". If a dismissal of the case or an acquittal by a trial is not the result of your case, the sentence you may receive will depend on the type of Florida crime that was committed. South Florida misdemeanor offenses will normally involve no more than court costs [and possibly a fine also], which should be accompanied by a "withhold adjudication". A witheld adjudication means that you do not receive a criminal conviction. A DUI in Florida automatically carries a conviction if there is no dismissal or acquittal after trial. DUI is a special type of crime and carries a series of penalties that attach to it by operation of law.

A Florida felony sentence will depend on the nature of the offense. It is possible to avoid incarceration even for a felony. Certain felonies, even if it is a first offense, will carry a conviction by operation of the law. If the offense is serious enough, even if it is a first offense, there may be a mandatory prison sentence which the judge must impose as there is no discretion. For example, an aggravated battery may entail a minimum sentence of 21 months barring certain circumstances. Certain felony offenses will carry a conviction even though there may be no prison sentence at all.

Consulting with a south Florida criminal attorney should clarify these matters such that you will know what you may face as an outcome from the very beginning of your case. Once you know the consequences, you then will be able to determine your strategy and the result of each choice that you may undertake.


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