What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor & A Felony In Okaloosa County, Florida?

For a person in Oklaoosa County with no prior criminal record and no experience in the criminal court system, you may not know the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony criminal charge.

First of all, both are criminal charges which mean that the penalties for either one could result in a criminal conviction as well as fines, court costs, probation, or even incarceration.

The less serious of the two is the misdemeanor. A misdemeanor crime has two categories: 1st degree and 2nd degree. The 1st degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year of county jail, 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine; while a 2nd degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months probation, and a $500 fine. Below is a list of commonly charged misdemeanor offenses:

1st Degree Misdemeanors  

  • DUI
  • Domestic Violence Battery
  • Theft over $100
  • Resisting Arrest without Violence
  • Simple Battery
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

2nd Degree Misdemeanors

  • Reckless Driving
  • Assault
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)
  • Petit Theft under $100 (first offense)
  • Shoplifting or Retail Theft
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run)
  • Driving while License Suspended or Revoked (1st)

Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. A conviction for a felony charge could mean that you are permanently deemed a “convicted felon” and therefore lose some of your constitutional rights like the ability to vote or possess firearms.

It is also true that convicted felons have difficulty obtaining employment. However, besides the legal status, felony charges also have potentially severe penalties depending on the degree and level of the criminal offense charged. Even the lowest level felony, called a 3rd degree, carries with it a maximum prison sentence of five (5) years. That is followed by the 2nd degree and 1st degree felonies with 15 and 30 year maximum prison sentences respectively. Common felony charges include:

3rd Degree Felonies

  • Grand Theft (over $300)
  • Burglary of Structure
  • Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Felony DUI
  • Resisting Arrest with Violence
    2nd Degree Felonies

  • Dealing in Stolen Property
  • Burglary of Structure
  • Sale of a Controlled Substance
  • Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding
  • Manslaughter
    1st Degree Felonies

  • Carjacking
  • Murder
  • Robbery with a Firearm
  • Sexual Battery