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Florida’s Repeat Offender Laws

In Florida, people who repeatedly commit criminal offenses face added penalties. Due to strict mandatory minimum statutes, multiple convictions can result in severe penalties, including extra jail time for felonies.

If you’ve been charged with multiple offenses in Florida, you should consult with a dedicated criminal defense attorney

Habitual Offender Status in Florida

Under current Florida felony statutes, a habitual offender includes anyone who has committed two or more felonies in Florida within five years. These include felony offenses committed while incarcerated.

Depending on the unique circumstances of the arrest and subsequent charges, habitual offender status can lead to lengthy sentences of up to life imprisonment.

Notably, not every criminal conviction will fall under the scope of a habitual offense designation; particular circumstances may apply. For example, convictions that fall under any number of Florida’s controlled substance offenses, such as possession or distribution, do not apply. 

For Florida offenders, mandatory sentence enhancements can be some of the most challenging hurdles to overcome. If you’ve been arrested for multiple felonies, you’ll need to consult a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can review your case and determine the best course of action.

Sentencing Provisions for Habitual Offenders

Individuals at risk for habitual offender status will generally attend a special hearing where the courts make a decision based on the evidence, circumstances, and mitigating factors. It’s the state’s burden to prove that a defendant deserves an enhancement. 

General sentencing provisions in Florida allow judges to sentence individuals based on the seriousness of the felony in question under the following guidelines:

  • Third-Degree Felonies: Up to 10 years
  • Second-Degree Felonies: Up to 30 years
  • First-Degree Felonies: Up to life in prison

Judges have complete discretion in handing out sentences, and maximum sentences are not strictly required. Because habitual offender designations don’t carry mandatory minimums, judges can grant lesser sentences as they see fit.

If you’re facing a conviction, contact Shrader & Mendez, Attorneys at Law, at 813-360-1529 for a free criminal defense case evaluation.

Posted in Criminal Defense