In Florida, there are several degrees of severity within the “felony” category. The least serious felony is a third-degree felony, which can result in up to 5 years in prison. More serious is the second-degree felony, which carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. First-degree felonies can result in up to 30 years in prison, though there’s is a subset of first-degree felonies called “PBL” (punishable by life) that can earn a person up to lifetime imprisonment. Life felonies are more serious, as they always result in life in prison. Finally, capital felonies can result in one of two options: life in prison or the death penalty.
Although discussed elsewhere on this site, each felony is also assigned a Level under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code (formerly referred to as the Sentencing Guidelines.) Every felony offense in Florida (and there are hundreds) is assigned a Level number from 1-10. The higher the number, the higher the number of points go on the Score Sheet. The total number of points on the scoresheet sets the lower limit for sentencing purposes on each felony case.
Florida also has a number of felony offenses that require minimum mandatory sentences. While there are others, the best known and most frequently employed are the mandatory sentences associated with drug trafficking. Possession of over a specified amount of various controlled substances call for mandatory sentences ranging from 3 to 30years in prison. Except under very limited circumstances, unless the prosecutor agrees, the Court is without authority to sentence to less than the minimum statutory sentence.
If you or a loved one is charged with a felony, contact an attorney at The Defense Group through our online contact form or call us at 407 743 8430 or 407-250-9557 for a FREE CONSULTATION. We are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency, and we are able to arrange appointments for nights or weekends if necessary.
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