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Habitual Violent Offender (HVO)

We have discussed "career criminal" enhancements before, but in case you have forgotten, Florida has certain statutes that enhance the maximum penalties for crimes if the accused has a prior felony record. The most common enhancement in Florida is the Habitual Offender enhancement, or HO. Other enhancements include the PRRP (prison releasee reoffender) enhancement. Today we will discuss the Habitual Violent Offender enhancement (HVO).

The HVO enhancement is serious because there are mandatory minimum sentences involved. This means that if convicted of a crime where the accused has been declared by the State Attorney's Office to be an HVO, there is mandatory prison time that must be served day-for-day (no gain time).
You are considered an HVO if you have been convicted of, or have been given a withhold of adjudication followed by probation, on the following offenses within five (5) years of your new charge:
1) Aggravated assault with a firearm or deadly weapon
2) Aggravated battery
3) Aggravated child abuse
4) Aggravated abuse of the disabled
5) Aggravated abuse of the elderly
6) Aggravated stalking
8) Arson
9) Murder
10) Kidnapping
11) Manslaughter
12) Armed burglary
13) Robbery
14) Throwing a destructive device
If you have a prior conviction or prior withhold of adjudication followed by probation for any of the above charges, AND you are arrested on a new felony charge that is not drug possession or retail theft, you can be labeled a Habitual Violent Offender (HVO).
If you are declared an HVO, the State Attorney's Office must give you written notice of this enhancement.
If you are an HVO, not only will you face mandatory minimum sentences, you will face increased statutory maximums. If you are an HVO, you will face the following:
1) For a third (3rd) degree felony, you will face a maximum of ten (10) years with a mandatory minimum sentence of five (5) years in prison. Under normal circumstances (no HVO enhancement) you only face a maximum of five (5) years prison with no mandatory minimum.
2) For a second (2nd) degree felony, you will face a maximum of thirty (30) years with a mandatory minimum sentence of ten (10) years. Under normal circumstances (no HVO enhancement) you only face a maximum of fifteen (15) years prison with no mandatory minimum.
3) For a first (1st) degree felony, you will face a maximum of life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years. Under normal circumstances (no HVO enhancement) you only face a maximum of thirty (30) years prison with no mandatory minimum.
4) For a first punishable by life (1st PBL) or life felony, you will face a maximum of life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years. Under normal circumstances (no HVO enhancement) you only face a maximum of life with no mandatory minimum.
Habitual Violent Offender (HVO) enhancements are taken seriously by both the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and the Broward State Attorney's Office. As a former Miami-Dade prosecutor, I know that the State will use all resources available to secure a conviction and prison time for anybody designated an HVO.
I practice criminal defense in Miami-Dade and Broward County. I have represented, as well as currently represent, clients enhanced under the HVO statute.
It is important to note that if you are an HVO, your bond amount can be increased significantly due to the increased exposure (maximum) on your charge.
Call me today if you or a loved on have been labeled a Habitual Violent Offender in Miami or Broward criminal court.
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