Q:

What is a first-degree felony in Florida?

A:

A first degree felony in Florida is a crime that is punishable by more than one year, up to 30 years imprisonment, 30 years in the department of corrections or a fine of $10,000. The common first degree felonies include burglary with battery and assault, trafficking of controlled substances, lascivious or lewd battery, kidnapping, exploiting the elderly an amount of $100,000 or more, child molestation and sexual battery.

The defendant may also be asked to pay restitution to the victim as the court may order. In Florida, offenses are usually sentenced with regard to a score sheet known as the criminal punishment code of Florida. The Florida legislature assigns a numerical value to a felony, based on a certain ranking system. A higher ranking indicates more points on the score sheet. If the score is more than 44 points, a minimum imprisonment sentence is administered. If the score goes below the 44 points, it is not mandatory that a judge gives a prison sentence, but he may do so if he wishes.

The most common possible consequences of the first-degree felony are loss of civil rights, ineligibility in obtaining state licenses, ineligibility to holding public office, ineligibility for state or federal aid, and inability to get hired or even rent an apartment.

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