A 3rd degree felony is a felony charge - meaning that it's serious - but on the spectrum from most serious to least serious, 3rd degree felonies are the least serious felonies.
Still, you should NEVER go into criminal court without an attorney for a felony charge. In fact, all people charged with felonies are given attorneys if they cannot afford them. This is because the courts understand how serious felony charges are, and that everybody charged with a felony is facing a maximum sentence of state prison.
3rd degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison. If you are a Habitual Offender (HO), you face 10 years for most 3rd degree felonies.
The penalties for 3rd degree felonies can range from PTI (Pretrial Intervention), all the way up to prison.
For the most part, 3rd degree felonies are non-violent property crimes and drug possession-level offenses.
Some examples of 3rd degree felonies are:
Possession of marijuana (more than 20 grams)
These are just some 3rd degree felonies.
Some 3rd degree felonies carry mandatory minimum sentences, such as aggravated assault with a firearm, and felony DUI.
If charged with a 3rd degree felony, you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately. Quick work on the part of your attorney may result in felony charges being reduced to misdemeanor charges prior to filing.
Otherwise, if felony charges are filed, your criminal attorney should take depositions and investigate the case thoroughly in order to get the client the best possible outcome.
I represent clients charged with 3rd degree felonies in Miami-Dade and Broward. Call today to discuss your case.