Monday, November 2, 2015

Florida Sentencing Enhancements Pt. 4: 10-20-Life

Many of Florida's Sentencing Enhancements are based on a person's prior felony record and/or the date the person was released from prison or other sanction (such as probation). 10-20-Life is different. Its harsh reclassification and progressive minimum mandatory sentencing scheme applies to just about any felony offense wherein a weapon or firearm is used, regardless of the person's criminal history. 

Where the use of a weapon or firearm is not an element of the crime, and the person uses a weapon or firearm during its commission, the offense is reclassified, which increases the applicable statutory maximum.  Also, its offense level, for purposes of the sentencing guidelines, is re-ranked one point higher. This increases the minimum lawful guideline sentence the court can impose (note: 10-20-Life applies only to felonies). 

The statute then lists a number of felony offenses that will trigger the associated minimum mandatory sentences if a firearm is used in the commission of the crime, regardless of whether the use of a firearm is an element. Most of these offenses involve crimes of violence and drug trafficking. Minimum mandatory sentences are different than minimum guideline scores.  Often times, the applicable minimum mandatory will exceed the minimum guideline score and in some instances, it will exceed the statutory maximum.  In either instance, the minimum mandatory sentence trumps.

Generally speaking, actually possessing a firearm during the commission of an enumerated felony will result in a 10 year minimum mandatory sentence (there are some exceptions). Discharge of a firearm will result in a twenty year minimum mandatory sentence and discharging a firearm, where death or great bodily harm occurs, will result in a sentence that is not less than twenty five years, nor more than life. 

For more information, see our recent publication on HG.Org: Florida Sentencing Enhancements Pt. 4: 10-20-Life.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home