Felony Charges

Felony Charges

In Florida, felony charges are divided into degrees.  Under 775.082 of the Florida Statutes, the maximum sentence is usually determined by the degree of felony charged, for example a third degree felony carries a maximum probation or prison sentence of 5 years, 15 years for a second degree felony, 30 years for a first degree felony, life for a life felony, and life or the capital death penalty for capital crimes.  Fines also vary depending on the degree of the felony.

The Felony Criminal Process

Arrest-  Arrest is usually initiated by seizing a person who has an outstanding warrant which has been signed by a judge.  An arrest can also be triggered by an officer’s observations, or by information an officer has received that establishes probable cause that a specific individual has committed a felony, or other specified crimes.  A citation or summons to appear in criminal court at some future date, is similar to an arrest, and failure to appear in court as directed can result in a physical arrest and incarceration.

First Appearance

The judge decides on the conditions of release for an arrested person.  This can range anywhere from a release on your own recognizance, a pre-trial release program, a monetary bond, or in rare circumstances, a hold without bond.

       Arraignment– An initial court date to enter a formal plea to the charges.

       Pre-trial–  A court date for the judge to receive a status update from the lawyers.

       Trial– If no agreeable plea agreement is reached, every accused person has a fundamental right to a trial.


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Panama City, FL 32401
+1 850 769 5532
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Common Examples of Felony Charges

Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery

These charges can be considered crimes of violence and can have far reaching consequences for the accused.  They typically involve an alleged victim who’s version of the encounter must be challenged by an experienced and skilled lawyer.

Sexual Battery or Rape

A difficult charge to defend and requires a lawyer with a firm understanding of the rules of evidence in Florida.

Drug Charges

These penalties for drug charges can vary depending on several factors including the weight of the drugs, the packaging, the location they were seized from, and the nature of other items seized in the search.  It is essential that a lawyer have a firm understanding of the law of “possession” and the complexities of search and seizure law


These are the most serious of all crimes and carry the highest sentences.  Whenever a human life is taken, emotions run high and there is always the potential for a rush to judgment. As a defense lawyer, Bob Sombathy has had success presenting legal defenses to the jury such as, Stand Your Ground, Self-Defense, Defense of Others, Legal Insanity, and Lack of Criminal Intent.

Bob Sombathy has over 28 years experience in Criminal Law.

As a Criminal Defense Lawyer, Bob Sombathy has represented thousands of clients charged with felonies.  As a former Chief Homicide Prosecutor, Bob Sombathy was trusted with the most important and high profile cases in all of Criminal Court.  Pre-trial motions and skilled negotiation are often useful strategies in obtaining a positive result for a client, but a lawyer must also have a proven track record in the courtroom so the client gets the best possible representation.  Bob Sombathy has tried over 150 felony jury trials and is among the 1% of Florida lawyers who have earned Board Certification as a Criminal Trial Law Specialist as designated by The Florida Bar.   

If you, or someone you know, has been accused of committing a felony charge,
call The Sombathy Law Firm at 850-769-5532
434 Magnolia Ave, Panama City, FL 32401
1 850 769 5532

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