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Florida Mandatory Minimum Sentences

What is a Mandatory Minimum Sentence?

Florida's mandatory sentencing laws have severely limited a judge's discretion in imposing a sentence in recent years. This is especially true in cases involving repeat violent offenders. Judges do not take probation violations or violations of house arrest lightly, particularly since the new Florida Anti-Murder Act went into effect in early 2007. The mandatory minimum sentences for a probation violation or violation of house arrest can be very harsh; thus it is extremely important to have the best legal representation possible.

How long is a life sentence in Florida? Call The Fleming Law Group, P.A. today at (727) 202-4858 or contact us online to find out!

10-20-Life Law in Florida For Firearm Crimes

In 1999, Florida enacted the "10-20-Life" mandatory minimum sentence law, formally known as Florida Statute 775.087. This law applies to the use of a firearm during a violent felony. The "10-20-Life" law refers to the Florida mandatory minimum sentences that these felonies are punishable by.

Florida Mandatory minimum sentences and penalties include:

  • 10 Years: Any person who is in "actual" possession of a firearm and is convicted of committing--or attempting to commit--a serious felony.
  • 20 Years: Any person who uses a firearm in a murder, sexual battery, robbery, or burglary.
  • Life Imprisonment: Any person who discharges a firearm during the attempt or commission of a serious felony and death results from serious bodily injury.

What is Florida Three (3) Strikes Law?

The 3 Strikes Law was also enacted in July 1999. It applies to defendants with two (2) prior convictions who are convicted as a violent felony offender for the 3rd time. A defendant is subject to the 3 Strikes Law only if he or she meets the following 5 separate criteria:

  • The defendant was convicted of a violent felony twice before. In this case, a withhold of adjudication counts as a conviction.
  • Each conviction took place on a separate occasion, including the third offense for which the defendant is presently being sentenced.
  • The present offense is a violent felony (such as arson, sexual battery, robbery, kidnapping, or murder).
  • The present offense was committed while serving any sentence imposed as a result of being convicted of another violent felony or within 5 years of being convicted of a violent felony, or within 5 years of finishing a sentence imposed for a violent felony.
  • The accused has not been pardoned for a prior violent felony conviction or has not had a prior violent felony conviction overturned on appeal or other post-conviction proceedings

Once these 5 criteria are satisfied, a judge is required to impose the minimum mandatory term of imprisonment specified by Florida law as follows:

  • Life felony = Life imprisonment
  • First-degree felony = 30-year prison term
  • Second-degree felony = 15-year prison term
  • Third-degree felony = 5-year prison term

Florida Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences

In Florida minimum mandatory sentences may apply to drug crimes. Under Florida Statutes Chapter 775, the minimum mandatory sentences are determined by the state legislation. Depending on the circumstances of your drug crime arrest in Florida, you could be facing a minimum of 3-years in prison and face a fine of up to $50,000.

Contact Fleming Law Group today to learn more about Florida mandatory minimum sentences and how they can impact your future.

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