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Florida's Sentencing Guidelines

The Florida Criminal Punishment Code prescribes guidelines for each felony offense in the State of Florida. In turn, the legislature created scoresheets which are used to calculate the bottom of an accused person's guidelines. The top of the guidelines, of course, would be the statutory maximum for the offense.

Many non-violent third-degree felonies do not score state prison, which is why many accused people are able to resolve those types of cases with probation.

However, even first-time offenders can score a state prison sentence. Burglary of a dwelling (occupied or unoccupied) scores 21 months at the bottom always. If an accused person has a prior record, the prior offenses will elevate the accused's score.

Serious offenses, such as robbery, attempted murder, and trafficking, will score state prison.

Scores for offenses such as sexual battery can be enhanced due to victim injury, whether moderate or severe.

Miami-Dade County places less emphasis on an accused's score. Broward, however, rarely offers pleas below guidelines. However, this does not mean that the Broward State Attorney's Office doesn't waive guidelines. I have resolved many cases well below guidelines in Broward, although past results cannot guarantee outcomes for other clients.

Call me to discuss sentencing guidelines and how your score could effect your case.

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