Florida Three Strikes Law

Florida three strikes law

Florida is one of 24 states that institute certain “tough on crime” measures aimed at curtailing crime. To do this, one of the steps the state has taken pertains to habitual violent offenders. The Florida three strikes law is a statute that gives judges broad leeway in sentencing people who find themselves in the criminal justice system for violent felonies over and over in a short period of time. While the name of the law might make it seem simple, the opposite is actually the case. In fact, this law is distinct in its application and limited in its scope. Whether you are facing a legal problem or not, here are the things that you should know about Florida’s three strikes law.

Applies Only to Violent Crimes

In order for someone to fall under the jurisdiction of this particular law, the crimes committed must be violent or a serious felony. Rape, sexual abuse, aggravated assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and murder are considered violent crimes. These can be contrasted with property crimes, like grand theft or even burglary. Even some crimes that are committed with a weapon are not considered violent crimes. A person arrested three times for drug crimes would not find himself in the grasp of this statute.

Applies Only to Convictions

When a person is arrested in the criminal justice system, many things can happen. That person might be released with the charges dropped. The person might go through some sort of pre-trial diversion program that allows them to clear their record. In other cases, they might plead guilty or head to trial. In order for the three strikes law to come into play, a person must be convicted of the crime. An arrest will not suffice to bring a person under the jurisdiction of this statute.

Convictions Must Take Place Within a 5-Year Period Making You a Habitual Offender

The law is not often applied in the state. Part of the reason for this is the five-year statute of limitations. In order for one to be subject to the law, the person must have been convicted three times in a period of five years. This is difficult for a number of reasons. For one, many violent crimes will land a person in prison for more than five years, making it impossible for them to commit another crime on the outside during the requisite period. If a person does happen to get convicted three times in that period, though, they can be subject to harsh penalties.

Judges Have Broad Discretion on 3 Strikes Law Sentencing

The Florida three strikes law is particularly important because of sentencing. If a person happens to fall into this category, then a judge can sentence them to a stay in prison somewhere between five years and life. This wide range is designed to give the judge the ability to select the people who are the most dangerous. In many cases, judges will make the call to give a lighter sentence to a person who shows an ability to reform his or her actions. In other cases, the judge will determine that a person has little chance of reformation. In some respects, the sentencing process under this statute can be uncertain.

Contact Clark Hartpence Law for a Criminal Attorney

Being charged with a crime can be a scary situation, especially if you fear that the Florida three strikes law might apply to you or your loved ones. Having a strong criminal defense attorney on your side will help as you go through this process.

If you have questions about this process, contact the professionals at Clark Hartpence Law today at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.