When Does The Three Strikes Law Apply in Florida?

Three Strikes Laws

Inside Florida’s Three Strikes Law

Ever heard of the three-strikes law? No, we’re not talking about baseball. We’re referring to how Florida has decided to prosecute repeat offenders. As one of roughly 24 states that have instituted certain measures to help reduce crime, Florida decided to key in on repeat offenders.

This statute allows judges to use their discretion when sentencing habitual violent offenders, which can be both a positive and a negative. For example, if the judge believes you have a chance of rehabilitation, they can choose to issue a light sentence. However, if you’re deemed to be a danger to yourself and others, the judge also has the freedom to lock you away for decades.

In essence, you have “two strikes” before “striking out.” Upon your third or subsequent criminal conviction, you will receive harsher penalties.

Who Actually Gets Three Strikes?

Florida’s three-strikes law is aimed at habitual violent offenders since these individuals are often considered to be the most threatening to public safety. For this statute to apply to you, the following three factors must be present:

Habitual Offender

Only habitual offenders can be subjected to the three-strikes law. Florida defines a habitual offender as anyone who has been convicted of a felony at least twice before.

Violent Crimes

The three-strikes law requires the habitual offender to be someone convicted of violent crimes. This means those who may have previous convictions for offenses like grand theft or embezzlement will not be prosecuted under the three-strikes statute.

Criminal Convictions

You must have actually been convicted of the crime you were accused of to be subjected to the three-strikes law. This means you do not meet the criteria if the charges against you were dropped or you were found not guilty. 

Florida Three Strikes Law Sentencing

The sentencing aspect of the three-strikes law is probably the most feared. Judges operating under this statute have the leeway to rule as harshly or as leniently on the matter as they choose. Everything from the severity of the previous changes to the defendant’s rehabilitation efforts can be taken into account when deciding whether you’ll spend the next five — or thirty — years in prison.

Anyone who’s being prosecuted under the three-strikes law requires stout legal representation from a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Ensure that your best interests are served by welcoming legal counsel from The Umansky Law Firm

How to Defend Yourself Against Criminal Charges

Our team of Orlando criminal defense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm possess more than 100 years of combined experience and an inherent passion for justice. As former prosecutors on the state and local level, we understand how the state prosecutes habitual violent offenders and can use our insight to your benefit. Allow our team of Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyers to go to work for you. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.