enhanced penalties for specific florida felony offenders

Enhanced Penalties For Specific Florida Felony Offenders

In Florida there are certain offenders and specific crimes that qualify for enhanced penalties. The State Attorney’s office will determine if the accused has the pre-requisite prior convictions and whether the current offense is one of the enumerated charges that qualify for enhancement. If so, the State Attorney will file a notice of the defendant’s qualifications as a PRR, HFO, HVFO, or VCC. Upon conviction, either after a trial or after a guilty plea, the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the person in fact meets the criteria for the enhanced penalty. This is done by providing a sentencing packet to the court for review.

What do these enhancements mean for a Florida criminal defendant? In Pinellas County there is an entire division in the Criminal Justice Complex devoted to Career Criminals. A defendant that qualifies to be in that division can assume that the State Attorney will be seeking the maximum penalty allowed by law.

PRR= Prison Releasee Reoffender:

  • This is any defendant who commits or attempts to commit certain charges listed in Florida Statute 775.082(9)(a)1 within three years after being released from a state correctional facility (Florida’s Department of Corrections, private vendor, or an institution of another state) following incarceration for any offense punishable by more than one year in Florida (any felony charge)
  • A defendant who is PRR is not eligible to be sentenced under the sentencing guidelines.
    • 3rd Degree Felony= mandatory 5 years imprisonment
    • 2nd Degree Felony=mandatory 15 years imprisonment
    • 1st Degree Felony=mandatory 30 years imprisonment
    • Felony Punishable By Life=mandatory Life sentence
  • A defendant sentenced as PRR is not eligible for good/gain time and is only to be released upon expiration of the sentence (a.k.a. day-for-day)

HFO= Habitual Felony Offender:

  • This is a defendant who has been previously convicted of any combination of two or more felonies in this state or other qualified offenses
  • The current felony charge that the defendant is to be sentenced on was committed:
    • While the defendant was serving a sentence (incarceration or supervision) or
    • Within five years of the date of the conviction of the defendant’s last felony, or within five years of the defendant’s release from a prison sentence, probation, community control, control release, conditional release, parole or court-ordered supervision
  • The felony for which the defendant is to be sentenced, and one of the two prior felony convictions is not a violation of Florida Statute 893.13 (relating to the purchase or possession of a controlled substance only)If a defendant qualifies as HFO (or sometimes called HO), the court may impose an extended term of imprisonment:
    • 3rd Degree Felony=a term not exceeding 10 years
    • 2nd Degree Felony=a term not exceeding 30 years
    • 1st Degree Felony(or Punishable By Life felony)=Life

HVFO=Habitual Violent Felony Offender:

  • This is a defendant who has been convicted of a felony or attempt to commit a felony and one or more of these convictions was for the listed charges found in Florida Statute 775.084(b)1. Some of the charges listed are:
    • Arson; Sexual Battery; Robbery; Kidnapping; Murder; Manslaughter; Aggravated Child Abuse; Aggravated Battery
  • The current felony for which the defendant is to be sentenced was committed
    • While the defendant was serving a sentence (incarceration or supervision) or
    • Within five years of the date of the conviction of the defendant’s last felony, or within five years of the defendant’s release from a prison sentence, probation, community control, control release, conditional release, parole or court-ordered supervision
  • If a defendant qualifies as HVFO, the court may impose an extended term of imprisonment:
    • 3rd Degree Felony=a term not exceeding 10 years, and the offender is not eligible for release for five years
    • 2nd Degree Felony=a term not exceeding 30 years, and the offender is not eligible for release for 10 years
    • 1st Degree Felony or Life Felony=a term of Life, and the offender is not eligible for release for 15 years

VCC=Violent Career Criminal:

  • This is a defendant who has previously been convicted as an adult three or more times for an offense in this state or other qualified offense that is:
    • Any forcible felony- Florida Statute 776.08
    • Aggravated Stalking
    • Aggravated Child Abuse
    • Aggravated Abuse of the Elderly or Disabled Adult
    • Lewd or Lascivious Battery/Molestation/Conduct/Exhibition
    • Escape
    • A felony violation of Chapter 790 involving the use or possession of a firearm
    • This defendant has been incarcerated in a state or federal prison
    • The current, primary, offense for which the defendant is to be sentenced is one of the listed offenses above and
      • While the defendant was serving a sentence (incarceration or supervision) for an enumerated felony, or
      • Within five years of the date of the conviction of the defendant’s last prior enumerated felony, or within five years of the defendant’s release from a prison sentence, probation, community control, control release, conditional release, parole or court-ordered supervision that was the result of a prior conviction for an enumerated felony, whichever is later

If a defendant qualifies as VCC, the court shall sentence the person as follows:

    • 3rd Degree Felony=a term not exceeding 15 years, mandatory minimum 10 years imprisonment
    • 2nd Degree Felony=a term not exceeding 40 years, mandatory minimum 30 years imprisonment
    • 1st Degree Felony or Life Felony=Life

Note:

  • If the court finds that it is not necessary for the protection of the public to sentence to a defendant who meets the criteria for HFO, HVFO, or VCC, they may impose a sentence other than those mentioned above
  • If the court finds that the defendant meets the criteria for PRR, the court does not have the authority to sentence the defendant to anything other than mandatory sentences mentioned above

If you are in the need of assistance or for more information, contact Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC when you need a criminal defense attorney working for you. Keep Calm Call Us®! 727-531-2926.

Please follow and like us: