It may seem obvious, but criminal charges are extremely serious, and you must defend against them. In a perfect world, if you were charged with a crime and you were innocent, you would not have to worry about a thing. Unfortunately, even if you are innocent, you could still be convicted if the prosecution makes a better case for your guilt than you make for your innocence. In Florida, just like the other states, you are innocent until proven guilty; however, that does not mean that you don't have to defend your innocence.
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, you will certainly face consequences for a criminal conviction. It is important to note, however, that there is a difference between the two charges, and the penalties you face for each will reflect those differences. Misdemeanors include crimes that are relatively minor, such as petty theft, resisting arrest or trespassing. Even though these crimes can be considered less serious than felonies, you can still face heavy fines and incarceration following a conviction.
Felony charges are much more serious crimes. Felonies include offenses such as identity theft and armed robbery, murder and aggravated assault, or rape. If you are convicted of a felony, you will certainly face serious fines, and you will definitely be looking at jail time. You could also face federal charges, which include things like fraud. These criminal defenses are also serious, and should be treated accordingly.
If you have been accused of any type of crime, be it a misdemeanor, a felony or a federal charge, it is imperative that you take steps to defend yourself. Enlisting the aid of an attorney can help you build a strong defense, and it could be the difference between a conviction and acquittal.