Pensacola Felony Defense Attorney

Felony Crime Defense Attorneys in Florida

A felony conviction in Florida often results in spending at least one year in prison. However, prison sentences can span several years—and even a lifetime. Additionally, convicted felons face long-term consequences once their punishment is fulfilled. Felons can lose the right to work in certain industries, obtain certain professional licenses, serve on juries, and vote.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony offense, the criminal defense team at The Morris Firm will do its best to get the best possible outcome. Our Pensacola felony defense lawyer has over a decade of experience handling thousands of criminal cases, including some of the most complex and high-profile cases. We can investigate your arrest, gather and assess evidence, and find any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you or determine if the police had violated your constitutional rights.

Do not wait to call (850) 503-2626 today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Why You Need a Lawyer for a Felony Defense in Florida

Felonies are serious crimes, and a conviction carries heavy consequences that will have a profound effect on your life. Not only will you have to contend with jail time and heavy fines, but even after your sentence is complete, your record as a felon will disqualify you for many jobs, as well as certain licenses and certifications. An experienced felony defense lawyer can determine whether the police violated any of your rights during the arrest, and investigate the circumstances of your case, collecting any potentially exculpatory evidence and possibly getting the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

Why You Should Hire The Morris Firm for Your Felony Defense

For over a decade, The Morris Firm has successfully defended thousands of clients in Pensacola facing serious felony charges. When you hire The Morris Firm, you bring in a powerful legal advocate that will work tirelessly to make sure your rights are protected and that you are able to take full advantage of any exculpatory evidence. We take pride in our ability to provide top-quality and personalized legal services to each one of our clients. When we work with you, your success becomes our mission.

Felony Crimes in Florida

Some of the felony crimes in this state include:

  • Murder
  • Carjacking
  • Grand theft
  • Incest
  • Robbery
  • Drug trafficking
  • Sexual offenses, including rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Battery of a firefighter or law enforcement officer
  • Child abuse
  • Aggravated assault or battery
  • Violently resisting an officer
  • Burglary
  • Stalking
  • Possession of controlled substances

Each offense may be treated with a varying degree of seriousness, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the prior convictions of the perpetrator. Florida’s three strikes law requires harsher sentences for a third felony conviction for a variety of crimes.

10-20-Life in Florida

Florida statute 775.087, also known as the “10-20-Life” law, contains mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for crimes committed with certain weapons. It requires harsher sentences for the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Under this law, producing a firearm while committing certain felonies mandates at least a 10-year prison sentence. Firing the weapon mandates a 20-year sentence, and shooting someone mandates a sentence of 25 years to life no matter whether the victim is injured or killed.

The law establishes minimum sentences beyond the 10-20-Life rules, including:

  • 15 years if the offender is in possession of a machine gun or semiautomatic rifle with a high-capacity box magazine;
  • 8 years for possessing a machine gun or semiautomatic firearm while committing battery on a person 65 or older or on an officer;
  • 5 years for aggravated battery on an officer;
  • 3 years for aggravated assault on an officer, aggravated assault with a firearm, or aggravated assault on a person 65 or older;
  • 3 years for felons possessing a firearm.

The law contains minimum sentences for certain drug offenses. Depending on the type of drug, the amount, and whether it resulted in anyone’s death, minimum penalties may increase to 7, 15, or 25 years, or to life in prison or the death penalty.

Felony Degrees in Florida

In Florida, there are five degrees of felonies: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, life, & capital felony. In Florida, felonies are punishable by more than one year in prison and hefty fines. Being convicted of a felony charge will result in the loss of certain civil rights and could lead to the death penalty.

The five degrees of felonies in Florida from the most to least serious are:

  • Capital felony: Punishable by death or life in prison. Examples include premeditated murder, capital sexual battery, and capital drug trafficking.
  • Life felony: Punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment. The maximum fine is $15,000. Life felonies include certain sex offenses where the victim is younger than 12, first-degree murder, and certain offenses involving the use of a weapon or firearm that are enhanced because of the 10-20-life statute.
  • First-degree felony: Punishable by a maximum of 30 years in state prison, a fine of $10,000, or both. Some examples of first-degree felonies include aggravated child abuse, certain sexual battery offenses, robbery with a weapon, home-invasion robbery, an array of grand-theft charges, aggravated child abuse, racketeering, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver within a 1000’ of a specified area, and burglary with assault or battery.
  • Second-degree felony: Punishable by a maximum of 15 years in state prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Examples of second-degree felonies include possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, lewd and lascivious battery where the victim is older than 12 but younger than 16 years old, dealing in stolen property, DUI manslaughter, and an array of grand-theft charges where the value of the stolen property exceeds $20,000.
  • Third-degree felony: Punishable by a maximum of five years in state prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. Some examples include aggravated assault, child abuse without great bodily harm, possession of a controlled substance, and grand theft.
  • ​​​​​​Depending on your criminal history and the crime being prosecuted, there are also certain sentencing enhancements that can apply.

Some example of these enhancements include:

  • Habitual felony offender (HFO)
  • Violent career criminal (VCC)
  • Habitual violent felony offenders (HVFO)
  • Prison releasee reoffender (PRO)

If the government has filed notice seeking one of these sentencing enhancements or if you are concerned that you may qualify for one of these enhancements, our Pensacola felony defense attorney can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Felonies in Florida

If you’ve been charged with a felony in the State of Florida, you probably have a lot of questions right now. Your attorney is the most reliable source for information about your own case, but here are a few answers to common questions that may be helpful.

Can I be certified as a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officer in the State of Florida if I have a prior felony arrest?

Pursuant to Florida statute 943.13(4), if you plead guilty, no contest, or are convicted of a felony, you are ineligible to be certified as an officer in this state. If the felony charges are dismissed or nolle prossed (dismissed under a nolle prosequi motion), any issues regarding a person’s moral character are determined by the employing agency. You aren’t barred by statute from being certified.

If I have a felony conviction, how can I get my voting rights restored?

If you are convicted of murder or felony sexual offense, you must apply for clemency under section 8, article V of the Florida Constitution. See the Florida Commission on Offender Review website for more details. If you are convicted of any other felony offense, your voting rights will be restored after completion of all terms of your sentence, including parole or probation, or you may alternatively apply for clemency to restore your voting rights.

When does driving under the influence (DUI) become a felony?

Florida statute 316.193 details penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. A DUI may become a felony if any of the following factors are present:

  • You are convicted of a DUI for the third time in 10 years;
  • You get a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction;
  • You caused serious bodily injury to or killed another person while driving drunk or intoxicated.

Killing someone while driving drunk is charged as DUI manslaughter, which is considered a second-degree felony. It may be charged as a first-degree felony if you fail to render aid (as in, you commit a hit-and-run). DUI manslaughter carries a minimum sentence of four years in prison.

When does drug possession become a felony?

Almost any drug possession charge may be filed as a felony, depending on the type of drug and the amount in possession. Fewer than 20 grams of marijuana is typically considered a misdemeanor. Enhancements may be added to the charge for cases that involve large amounts of the drug, an intent to sell, or a location near a school or community center. These factors may increase the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony or to a felony of a higher degree.

Speak With a Pensacola Felony Defense Lawyer Right Away

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a felony, you’re going through a stressful and frightening ordeal. You have your freedom, your future, and your family to worry about. You need an advocate with years of legal experience who will work tirelessly to make sure you get the best possible resolution to your case.

Contact The Morris Firm today at (850) 503-2626 to learn about your available legal options.

Contact The Morris Firm today at (850) 503-2626 to learn about your available legal options.

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What Our Clients Are Saying


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I hired Brandon to be my attorney for a criminal case, and he exceeded my expectations. He always answered my questions and he represented me in the most professional manner. He always prepared and honest with me. I would highly recommend him. He will always be my attorney

-Laura

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Brandon understands the charges and what the defenses are. He works hard to ensure his clients get the best outcome possible.

-John

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Brandon Morris has a thorough understanding of criminal law, has extensive courtroom experience and is a passionate advocate for his clients. He gave me a truthful and honest explanation of my situation, my options and what I could expect. Anyone would be lucky to have him as their advocate.

-Former Client

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I received a letter from the Morris Firm after I was released from the county detention and I immediately made an appointment for consult. Right away he eased my fears and made me feel confident that we can beat this case or get it resolved with minimal punishment. Retainer is reasonable, as well. Glad I hired him!

-James

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Brandon Morris is definitely an attorney myself and my family would recommend. Me and my husband retained Brandon and achieved the best possible result, a dismissal in the case. My son retained Brandon in his case and the conclusion of the case was what my son anticipated, a good result. Brandon is knowledgeable, understanding, compassionate about his clients, and has reasonable fees. When we talk to Brandon it is apparent that his is listening to every detail. Brandon has always been prompt in returning our calls. We will definitely use Brandon again if needed. He is an excellent attorney!

-Rachel

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Brandon is committed to getting the best result for his clients. He negotiated the best deal for me with the state attorney. I recommend him to anyone looking for a lawyer committed to his clients.

-Former Client

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This was the first time I needed to hire an Attorney and I was somewhat nervous. Mr. Morris was very easy to communicate with and basically told me from day one that the charges would be dropped and they were. I would highly recommend him to anyone.

-Zachary

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Amazing! I didn’t have to worry about anything. After first meeting with Brandon, I was much more at ease with my case. He was very helpful with everything I asked and very understanding. I would highly recommend!

-Jessica