Mandatory Minimums and Three Strikes Law in Florida
Written by Moses & Rooth on July 19, 2016
We have all heard of the phrase “three strikes and you are out.” The same philosophy applies in the case of the law. Three felonies and you are out, or rather imprisoned for a specific number of years. In most states when you have been convicted of two prior felonies, once you are convicted of a third, you will be subjected to mandatory minimums, and Florida is no different. Florida’s mandatory minimum after your third felonious conviction can be intimidating and you should seek legal representation and advice if you are subjected to a mandatory minimum sentence. Florida’s three strike rule is often referred to in the legal community at habitual offender laws. If you or a loved one have been charged with a felony it is invaluable to contact an experienced Florida criminal law attorney to help you with your case.
It’s Three Strikes and You’re Out!
Florida has one of the highest incarceration rates within the country and that number continues to grow with the strict sentencing laws. According to Florida’s law, if you are considered a habitual offender and have been convicted of two prior violent felonies and then convicted of another, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence. A mandatory sentencing is a court decision setting where judicial discretion is limited by law. If you are subjected to mandatory minimum sentencing the judge will have no discretion as to the minimum amount of time you will serve.
For habitual offenders, mandatory minimum sentencing is set so that they are unable to continue committing felonious crimes and must meet certain criteria, such as: previously being convicted twice of a violent felony; the present offense must be a serious felony; each conviction, including the present conviction, must be have been on separate occasions; the offender must not have been pardoned for a previous serious felony; and the present offense must be committed within five years of serving another sentence for a serious felony. If the court finds the above to be satisfied, then you will more than likely be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence.
Though these rule may seem straightforward, they are not. It is important to seek legal advice when being subjected to Florida’s Three Strike Law because your consequences will depend on the definition given to a “serious” felony. Consequences for mandatory minimum sentencing upon three strikes can range from five years in prison to life in prison depending on the severity of the crime.
Need Legal Advice?
Realizing that you are about to be imprisoned for a mandatory minimum sentence is devastating especially when the serious consequence can include life in prison. However, you may have possible defenses to get your charges mitigated from a felony to a misdemeanor or in some cases, dismissed altogether. If you or a loved one have been charged with a felony it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Criminal Law attorney to help you strategize about the best possible outcomes for your case. Contact Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law at (407) 377-0150 for an initial consultation.