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Understanding Criminal Sentencing

Florida Sentencing Enhancements

Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

The Florida State legislature has decided that the state's repeat offenders should be subjected to the possibility of enhanced penalties. Because of this decision, the legislature has adopted numerous sentencing guidelines that are designed to increase the potential penalties that a repeat offender might face.

We have included information below in order to further explain Florida's sentencing enhancements and how they might impact your future.

For more information please contact a Miami criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Michael Mirer, P.A.

Repeat Offenders

Under the sentence enhancement system, the criteria for repeat offenders depend upon the offender's classification.

There are four specific classifications of repeat offenders:

  • The Habitual Felony Offender
  • The Habitual Violent Offender
  • The Violent Career Criminal
  • Prison Releasee Reoffender

Habitual Felony Offender (HFO)

For the HFO, sentencing is discretionary. The HFO is eligible for gain time, and for a life felony, they remain subject to life in prison.

  • 1st Degree HFO: Life in prison.
  • 2nd Degree HFO: Up to 30 years in prison.
  • 3rd Degree HFO: Up to 10 years in prison and the offender is ineligible for early release during the first 5 years of their sentence.

Habitual Violent Felony Offender (HVFO)

For the HVFO, sentencing is discretionary. The HVFO is eligible for gain time. Life felony – up to life in prison and they are ineligible for early release during the first 15 years of their sentence.

  • 1st Degree HVFO: The offender must spend up to 30 years in prison and they are ineligible for early release during the first 10 years of their sentence.
  • 2nd Degree HVFO: Up to 30 years in prison and the offender is ineligible for early release during the first 10 years of their sentence.
  • 3rd Degree HVFO: Up to 10 years and the offender is ineligible for early release during the first 5 years of their sentence.

Violent Career Criminal (VCC)

For the VCC, sentencing is discretionary. The offender is eligible for gain time. Life felony – they must spend life in prison.

  • 1st Degree VCC: Life in prison.
  • 2nd Degree VCC: Up to 40 years in prison and the offender is ineligible for early release during the first 30 years of their sentence.
  • 3rd Degree VCC: Up to 15 years in prison and the offender is ineligible for early release during the first 10 years of their sentence.

Prison Releasee Reoffender (PRR)

For the PRR, sentencing is mandatory. The PRR is ineligible for gain time. If they were convicted of a Life Felony – the offender must serve 100% of their sentence, and they are ineligible for an early release.

  • 1st Degree PRR: Up to 30 years in prison, the offender must serve 100% of their sentence, and they are ineligible for early release.
  • 2nd Degree PRR: Up to 15 years in prison, the offender must serve 100% of their sentence and they are ineligible for early release.
  • 3rd Degree PRR: Up to 5 years in prison, the offender must serve 100% of the sentence, and they are ineligible for early release.

The Habitual Felony Offender Under §775.084(1)(A)

Under §775.084 a person is classified as a habitual felony offender when:

  • The offender has been convicted of (2) or more felonies or other qualified offenses.
  • The felony that the offender is currently being sentenced for was committed while the offender was in prison for a prior felony or other qualifying criminal offense within five years of the prior felony or offense, or within five years of being released from prison.
  • If the current felony the offender is being sentenced for and one of his or her two prior convictions do not fall under § 893.13 Florida Statute (Purchase or possession of a controlled substance).

The Habitual Violent Felony Offender Under §775.084(1)(B)

Under §775.084 a person is classified as a violent felony offender when the offender has a prior, separate conviction for a felony, attempted felony, or conspiracy to commit a felony, and of or more of these convictions were for any of the following:

Additionally, the current felony to be sentenced is an enumerated offense and was committed while the offender was serving a sentence for a conviction for any of the enumerated offenses, within the previous five years of the date of the conviction or release of the prior offense.

The Violent Career Criminal Under §775.084(1)(D)

In order to be classified as a violent career criminal, the offender must have previously been convicted as an adult three or more times for an offense in Florida or another qualifying offense that is:

  • Aggravated Abuse of an Elderly Person or Disabled
  • Aggravated Child Abuse
  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Escape
  • Felony Use or Possession of a Firearm
  • Any Forcible Felony
  • Lewd and Lascivious Conduct, Battery, Molestation

The offender has been previously incarcerated in federal prison, and the felony to be sentenced for was an enumerated offense, and was committed on or after October 1, 1995, and: a. While serving his or her sentence for their conviction, or b. Within 5 years from the date of the conviction, or within five years of the release from a prison sentence, probation, control release, condition release, parole, or court-ordered or lawfully imposed supervision imposed as a prior conviction for an enumerated felony.

The Prison Releasee Reoffender §775.082(9)(a)

In order for an offender to be classified as a prison release reoffender, two factors must be present.

While the offender was serving their sentence of imprisonment, while they were on escape statues, or within three years of release from prison the offender must have committed or attempted to commit the following offenses:

  1. Aggravated Assault
  2. Aggravated Battery
  3. Aggravated Stalking
  4. Aircraft Piracy
  5. Armed Burglary
  6. Arson
  7. Burglary of an Occupied Structure or Domicile
  8. Carjacking
  9. Home Invasion
  10. Kidnapping
  11. Manslaughter
  12. Murder
  13. Robbery
  14. Sexual Battery
  15. Throwing, Placing or Discharging a Destructive Device
  16. Treason
  17. Any other felony using the threat of physical violence
  18. Any §790.07, §800.03, or §827.071 felony

Hire an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing sentence enhancements in the state of Florida, we urge you to contact the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. to begin fighting for your rights. Our founding attorney Michael Mirer is a former Miami-Dade prosecutor with more than a decade of experience as a trial attorney.

We promise to provide you with aggressive, unwavering legal representation from the moment we take on your case. We understand the stress and anxiety involved when dealing with the Florida courts, for this reason we accept phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call a Miami criminal defense lawyer from the firm immediately to discuss the details of your criminal case.

Contact a Miami criminal defense attorney from the firm to schedule your confidential consultation.

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