As part of Florida's Criminal Punishment Code, the Florida Legislature created an Offense Severity Ranking Chart that serves as the basis for an offender's "score." A score sets the recommended sentencing range for an offender, with the score serving as the "bottom of the guidelines," or minimum sentence an offender should receive.
A score is based on numerical values assigned to the offender's most serious charge, any additional charges, prior offenses, and any enhancements, such as additional points for victim injury.
The Offense Severity Ranking Chart designates felony offenses with ranks from Level 1 (least serious felonies) all the way to Level 10 (most serious felonies).
A Level 1 offense, with no prior offenses or no other charges to score, will not result in a state prison score. An examples of a Level 1 offense is possession of cannabis more than 20 grams.
A Level 10 offense will score out to a state prison sentence regardless of priors or other charges. An example of a Level 10 offense is murder.
Offenses with Levels of 7 or higher will score state prison on their own. Burglary of an unoccupied dwelling is a Level 7 offense.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.