Felonies and Misdemeanors


There are numerous felonies and misdemeanor statutes on the books in the State of Florida; far too many to try to give you a description of them. However, Arthur Spiegel has been practicing law in this community for over thirty (30) years and has had the privilege of defending people accused of crimes in over eighty (80) jury trials and in many thousands of non-jury proceedings. 


Arthur has tried a wide variety of criminal cases such as:


  •  Impaired driving (DUI)

  •  Drug offenses, including possession, sale, and trafficking

  •  Property crimes, such as auto thefts and burglaries

  •  Crimes of Violence, like batteries, domestic violence, robberies & murder


He has tried these many of these cases in juvenile and adult divisions of the Court, as appropriate. If you or a loved one, a friend or a family member has been arrested or accused of a crime, please come see Arthur Spiegel; let’s discuss the case and he will try to work with you to help reach the best possible outcome under the circumstances of these cases.


What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor? Generally, the seriousness of the incident will put a case in either the County Court, which hears misdemeanor and ordinance violation cases or in Circuit Court, where the judges preside over felony cases. However, it is not always obvious whether a case belongs in County Court or Circuit Court based on the “seriousness” of an incident. Sometimes, misdemeanors can become felonies because of the number of offenses in one’s past. For example, if one has been convicted of petit theft (thefts where the value of a thing allegedly stolen is less than $300.00) several times in the past, petit theft could be treated as a felony. This is also true in the case of Driving With a License Suspended or Revoked. After you pass a statutory threshold, misdemeanors can become felonies, even though the incident is factually, no different than previous incidents.


So, what is the difference between felonies and misdemeanors? While some of the rules under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure are different when applied to misdemeanors and felonies (for example - speedy trial rules and discovery rules are different,) most of the procedural rules are the same.  Aside from the fact of the division of the Court in which a case will be addressed, the differences are defined by the statutes and the penalties. Misdemeanor cases can be punished by up to Sixty (60) days in jail in the case of a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor and up to Three Hundred Sixty-four (364) days in jail for a 1st Degree Misdemeanor. In felony cases, the person accused is facing more than One (1) year in prison and punishments that can be suffered can be as severe as the death penalty in certain capital crimes.


In handling a case, the experience a lawyer has can frequently make a difference, in the outcome. Let Arthur Spiegel put his 30 years of experience to work for you!


Sealing or Expunging Criminal Court Records


Have you been arrested or charged with the commission of a crime?  Florida Statutes give the Courts the power to decide whether certain of their records should remain open to the public or not. 


While some records cannot be sealed, for example - if you have been convicted of a crime, many criminal court records can be sealed and Florida Law even allows someone whose record has been sealed to deny the existence of the criminal history except in very limited circumstances.


If you have had an indiscretion in your past, but you would like to ask the Court to seal this record, Arthur Spiegel may be able to help you accomplish this goal. It is a time consuming task, but it can be done and this lawyer has accomplished this task for his clients. Please come talk to Arthur about your record and let’s see if it can be sealed or expunged!