Florida Sentencing Enhancements

sentencing enhancements in florida

In Florida, those previously convicted of criminal acts are exposed to the possibility of enhanced sentencing if charged with a subsequent crime. The reasoning behind this method is that repeat offenders are statistically more likely to re-offend, and when they do, they should be held accountable.

Sentencing enhancements are not exclusive to individuals convicted of violent crimes as any repeat offender can have their criminal sentence drastically increased. If you’ve been charged with a crime and have prior criminal offenses on your record, limit the chances of possible enhancements by securing the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are seasoned attorneys with a passion for representing the accused. We understand that the criminal justice system doesn’t treat repeat offenders too kindly, but that shouldn’t mean that your criminal sentence should be potentially doubled just because you had a previous run-in with the law. Our team of attorneys has numerous years of experience negotiating with the opposition and fighting for our clients in court. Reach out to us to discover how we can help you today.

Types of Repeat Offenders

Your classification determines the extent of your sentence enhancement. Repeat offenders in Florida fall under one of the following categories: Violent Career Criminal, Prison Release Reoffender, Habitual Violent Felony Offender or Habitual Felony Offender. The sentencing enhancements for each type of repeat offender is as follows:

The Violent Career Criminal (VCC)

Per Florida Statute § 775.084(1)(D), the court must find the following three things to classify an individual as a VCC:

  1. A history of three or more individual adult convictions — that weren’t pardoned or set aside — for any of the following crimes:
    1. Aggravated Child Abuse
    2. Aggravated Stalking
    3. Aggravated Abuse of the Elderly
    4. Escape
    5. Forcible Felony
    6. Felony Use or Possession of a Firearm
    7. Lewd and Lascivious Conduct
  2. Previous incarceration in a state or federal prison; and
  3. The felony the individual is currently facing is an enumerated offense, was committed after October 1st, 1995 and while serving a conviction for an enumerated offense or within five years of the conviction or release date for an enumerated offense.

The sentence enhancements for a VCC are as follows:

  • 1st Degree Felony: Life in prison
  • 2nd Degree Felony: Up to 40 years in prison
  • 3rd Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison

Prison Releasee Reoffender (PRR)

Per Florida Statute § 775.082(9)(a), the court must prove the following to classify an individual as a PRR:

  1. The defendant attempted to commit or committed one of the following offenses while serving a prison sentence, on escape status or within three years of being released from prison:
    1. Aggravated Assault
    2. Aggravated Battery
    3. Aggravated Stalking
    4. Aircraft Piracy
    5. Armed Burglary
    6. Arson
    7. Burglary of an Occupied Structure or Dwelling
    8. Carjacking
    9. Home-Invasion Robbery
    10. Kidnapping
    11. Manslaughter
    12. Murder
    13. Robbery
    14. Sexual Battery
    15. Throwing, Placing, or Discharging, a Destructive Device
    16. Treason
    17. Any felony involving use or threat of physical force/violence; or
    18. Any § 790.07, 800.04, 827.03, or 827.071 felony.

The sentence enhancements for a PRR are as follows:

  • 1st Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison
  • 2nd Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison
  • 3rd Degree Felony: Up to 5 years in prison

The Habitual Violent Felony Offender (HVFO)

Per Florida Statute § 775.084(1)(A), the court must prove the following to classify an individual as an HVFO:

  1. The offender has been recently convicted of two or more felonies or qualified offenses
  2. The felony to be sentenced is an enumerated offense and was committed while the individual was serving a conviction for an enumerated offense, within the prior five years of the conviction date or release from the previous offense
  3. The felony to be sentenced for and one of the prior two convictions are not for purchase or possession of a controlled substance

The sentence enhancements for an HVFO are as follows:

  • 1st Degree Felony: Life in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum
  • 2nd Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison
  • 3rd Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison

The Habitual Felony Offender (HFO)

Per Florida Statute §775.084(1)(B), the court must prove the following to classify an individual as an HFO:

  1. A previous conviction for a felony, attempted felony or conspiracy to commit a felony that wasn’t pardoned or set aside and one or more of the convictions were for one of the following:
    1. Aggravated Abuse of the Elderly or Disabled
    2. Aggravated Assault
    3. Aggravated Child Abuse
    4. Aggravated Manslaughter of the Elderly or Disabled
    5. Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child
    6. Aggravated Battery
    7. Aggravated Stalking
    8. Armed Burglary
    9. Arson
    10. Kidnapping
    11. Murder
    12. Manslaughter
    13. Robbery
    14. Sexual Battery
    15. Throwing, Placing, or Discharging, a Destructive Device

The sentence enhancements for an HFO are as follows:

  • 1st Degree Felony: Life in prison
  • 2nd Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison
  • 3rd Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison

Help From Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are a repeat offender facing a subsequent criminal charge, waste no time in securing the legal counsel of a knowledgable attorney. The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience and time spent as state and former prosecutors. We are ready and willing to use our acquired insight to take on the prosecution and help lessen the criminal penalties you face for your charge. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.