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Sentences: Maximum, Minimum, and Mandatory

One of the most natural question to ask when you have been arrested and charged with a crime is, " What am i facing?" It's human nature to want to know the worst-case scenario.
Every criminal charge in the State of Florida comes with a statutory maximum penalty. For felonies, that means the highest number of years in prison to which a judge can sentence. For misdemeanors, that means the greatest number of days in the county jail.
For purposes of this blog entry, I will not discuss Habitual Felony Offender, Habitual Violent Offender, Three-Time Felony Offender (GORT), Prison Releasee Reoffender (PRRP), or Three-Time Violent Felony Offender sentencing. Those "career criminal" enhancements carry different statutory maximums per offense, along with mandatory minimums. Click on the link marked "Habitual Felony Offender" to learn more about sentencing enhancements in Florida due to prior criminal records. If you have additional questions about sentencing enhancements, call my office and we can discuss the matter privately.
For all other offenses, the State of Florida follows this basic scheme:
2nd-Degree Misdemeanor (assault, petit theft, DWLS, prostitution)
Minimum Sentence: Pretrial Diversion
Maximum Sentence: 60 days in county jail, $500 fine, and 6 months probation
1st-Degree Misdemeanor (domestic battery, DWLS/2nd offense, possession of marijuana)
Minimum Sentence: Pretrial Diversion
Maximum Sentence: 364 days in county jail, $1000 fine, and 1 year probation
Minimum Sentence: Pretrial Intervention
Maximum Sentence: 5 years in state prison
2nd-Degree Felony (aggravated battery, strongarm robbery, burglary of an unoccupied dwelling)
Minimum Sentence: Withhold of Adjudication followed by probation (Pretrial Intervention in rare situations)
Maximum Sentence: 15 years in state prison
1st-Degree Felony (trafficking in cocaine, grand theft 1st-degree, sale of cocaine within 1000 feet of a school)
Minimum Sentence: Adjudication (conviction) followed by probation (withhold of adjudication followed by probation in rare situations, Pretrial Intervention in the rarest of situations)
Maximum Sentence: 30 years in state prison
1st-Degree Felony Punishable By Life (1st PBL) (armed robbery with a firearm, kidnapping, burglary with an assault or battery)
Minimum Sentence: Adjudication followed by a jail or prison term (probation or community control in rare situations)
Maximum Sentence: Life in state prison
Life Felony (armed burglary, carjacking, sexual battery)
Minimum Sentence: Adjudication followed by a jail or prison term (probation or community control in rare situations)
Maximum Sentence: Life in state prison
Capital Felony (1st-degree murder)
Minimum Sentence: Adjudication followed by a prison term of years
Maximum Sentence: Death by lethal injection
For offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences, Florida follows this scheme:
For first DUI mandatory minimum sentences, click here. For second and third DUI mandatory minimum sentences, click here.
For DUI manslaughter sentences, click here.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm is a third-degree felony that carries a three-year mandatory minimum prison term under Florida's 10-20-Life law.
Also, under 10-20-Life, the charge of Firearm Possession by a Convicted Felon carries a three-year mandatory minimum prison term.
Click on the "10-20-Life" link for more details on mandatory sentencing in firearm cases, however, for a basic overview:
Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony: 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Discharge of a firearm during the commission of a felony: 20-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Discharge of a firearm during the commission of a felony resulting in serious bodily injury or death: mandatory 25 years sentence up to life.
The practice of criminal defense in Miami-Dade County in Miami and Broward exposes me to Florida's sentencing system on a daily basis. It is my job to do everything in my power to work toward the best resolution of your case. As a former Miami-Dade prosecutor, I became quite familiar with Florida sentencing, and as criminal defense attorney, I exploit that knowledge for the benefit of my clients.
Florida has a tough sentencing system. Don't fall victim to it without the aid of a competent criminal defense lawyer. Call me immediately if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Miami or Broward.