Skip to main content

What does 'level' mean in criminal charge?

Fort Walton Beach, FL |
Filed under: Criminal defense

A person I know was charged with Battery and his booking info reads:

STATUTE CASENO CHARGE DEGREE LEVEL BOND
784.03.1a1 CASE0001 BATTERY F M $0.00

I know the degree is "Felony" btw, I just don't understand what "level" is

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

No, I would say level is misdemeanor or felony. Degree would be things like 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

Mark as helpful

Posted

In Florida, criminal offenses are first broken down into felony or misdemeanor and subsequently divided into degrees. The main difference is maximum punishment.

Maximum punishments for crimes are as follows:
2nd degree misdemeanor - 60 days in jail
First degree misdemeanor - 1 year in jail
3rd degree felony- 5 years in prison
2nd degree felony - 15 years in prison
1st degree felony - 30 years in prison
Life felony - life in prison
Capital felony - death penatly

In addition to the degree of felony, each felony offense also has a level for sentencing purposes, ranging from 1-10. Felony charges of the same degree may have different levels. For example, grand theft ($300-$5,000) and DUI w/ Serious Bodily Injury are both 3rd degree felonies, but grand theft is a level 2 and DUI w/ Serious Bodily Injury is a level 7. As a general rule of thumb, the charge with the higher level will face a potentially higher minimum sentence, but they have they same maximum.

Also, please note that other factors such as a person's previous criminal history, recent release from prison, and use or possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony can change the degree or levels of a felony and both their minimum and maximum sentences. The sentencing laws and guidelines can be very confusing and must be analyzed in detail on a case-by-case basis.

As to the information your provided, it appears that someone has been charged with simple battery, a first degree misdemeanor. This is indicated by the DEGREE - F (first) and LEVEL M (misdemeanor). As charged, that person could be punished by up to a year in county jail or probation. This person should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate the issues in his or her case.

Mark as helpful

2 found this helpful