SENTENCING GUIDELINES

HOW MUCH TIME AM I FACING?

When charged with a crime, people often ask how the Prosecutor and Judge determine what an appropriate sentence is. While it is difficult to know exactly what the sentence will be until the discovery process is complete, when a defendant is charged with a felony, prosecutors will prepare a criminal punishment code scoresheet. This scoresheet is one of many tools that help us give you an idea of what the State plea offer will be. Every charge has a degree (1st degree, 2nd degree, etc...) as well as a level (1, 2,...10). The degree of the charge tells you what the maximum sentence can be.

Maximum Prison/Jail Sentence(s)

  • Capital Felony - Life in prison
  • First Degree Felony - 30 years prison
  • Second Degree Felony - 15 years prison
  • Third Degree Felony - 5 years prison
  • First Degree Misdemeanor - 1 year county jail
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor - 60 days county jail

While the degree of the charge determines the maximum permissible sentence, the level of the offense helps determine the minimum allowable sentence. Each charge carries a predetermined amount of points to be assessed on the criminal punishment code scoresheet. Obviously more points are assessed for more serious crimes. An accused will also be assessed points for any prior criminal history. If the total amount of points is 44 or less, then the minimum sentence allowable can be a time served sentence or probation. Keep in mind, just because a scoresheet does not mandate prison, does not mean that you cannot still be sentenced up to the maximum prison time allowable by law. On the other hand, if the points are greater than 44, the scoresheet will recommend a prison sentence. Understanding the scoresheet can be difficult. Call us at (407) 425-6068 to help you understand what your scoresheet will look like.

If I score prison, am I definitely doing time?

In short.....NO. As with most laws, there are exceptions that, if applicable, may help someone avoid a prison sentence, even if they are scoring prison. If one of these exceptions apply, the judge could give the defendant a "downward departure" sentence, and sentence the defendant to anything, even time served or probation. These exceptions are called Mitigating Circumstances.:

CONTACT US FOR HELP TODAY

To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our proficient Orlando defense lawyers, call 407-792-2923 any time of the day or night or fill out our contact form. For your convenience, our office is located in downtown Orlando, Florida, one block behind the courthouse. Se habla español.


The Latest From Our Firm

Sign Up For Updates