If you have been charged with a felony, you are facing more than a year in prison.
There are lot of Felony Charges in Florida, but the most common include:
- Sexual Battery
- Resisting with violence
- Battery on Law Enforcement
- Fleeing and Eluding
- Home Invasion Robbery
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
Felonies are classified under degrees:
- Felony in the third degree
- Felony in the second degree
- Felony in the first degree
- Life Felony
- Capital Felony
- Felony in the third degree is punishable by no more than five years imprisonment and a fine of up to five thousand dollars, to include possible victim restitution.
- Felony in the second degree is punishable by no more than fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars, to include possible victim restitution.
- Felony in the first degree is punishable by no more than thirty years in prison and a fine up to ten thousand dollars, to include possible victim restitution.
- A life felony is punishable by forty years to life in prison and a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars, to include possible victim restitution.
- A capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, to include possible victim restitution.
1. A Felony charge is a serious charge, which can bring a lot of anxiety and stress. First you could be asking yourself whether you will be serving any time in jail of prison, if convicted.
2. Felonies are divided in degrees in Florida and whether you could be facing prison will depend on your “scoresheet”. Your scoresheet will be composed of your prior criminal history, if any. Your scoresheet will determine whether you are faced with “mandatory minimums”, which is the minimum time the court has to impose on your sentence, if you are convicted of your existing prosecution. The 1998 Florida Criminal Punishment Code applies to sentencing for all felonies, except Capital felonies, committed on or after October 1st of 1998.The following link can be used to access a manual prepared by the Florida Department of Corrections, which explains how to use a scoresheet: http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/sen_cpcm/index.html.
3. The prosecutor in your case will be required to prepare a scoresheet, which will tell the court the minimum sentence that has to be imposed in your case, if you are convicted. Hiring an attorney can make a difference in your case, as an attorney can assist you in the determination as to whether the scoresheet prepared in your case is correct, has true and accurate history, or whether corrections are needed.
4. The prosecutor in your case will start by looking at your history and will assign a number of points for each of your prior offenses, and the total number will depend on a series of factors. There are additional points that can be added if the offenses involved injured victims, if you violated probation or community control, if the offenses involved discharge of weapons, and/or the offenses involved violations of different specified Florida Acts. Once all of the numbers are added, if you have a total of 44 points, you are facing mandatory prison. If you have less than 44 points, the court is not mandated to send you to prison, although it could. If you have less than 44 points, your sentence can be composed of a non-state prison sanction, which could include time in the county jail, probation or community control, among other options. An experienced attorney will review your scoresheet, will look at the facts of the case, will look at the existence or lack of witnesses, will look at the presence of any possible constitutional violations, and will make a determination as to how to best proceed under each particular set of circumstances.
Having a Felony conviction in your record can have serious adverse consequences:
- Loss of employment
- Loss of Civil Rights
- Loss of Driving License
- Loss of State benefits
- Loss of Educational opportunities, including federal assistance (Pell Grant)
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The information provided in this website does not constitute legal advice and is provided only for Informational Purposes.
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