The Florida three strikes law was imposed in an effort to inflict harsher penalties on habitual offenders who have been convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. Through the three strikes law, habitual offenders face physical incapacitation via imprisonment so they cannot continue committing serious crimes.
Florida Three Strikes Law
With the name stemming from a reference to baseball, the three strikes law essentially means a criminal is permitted two “strikes” before “striking out” on the third. This means, a habitual offender who has three or more serious charges, “strikes out” and will receive harsher penalties. Florida’s three strikes law significantly increases the penalties against the offender and limits the offender to receiving a lesser punishment where they may be inclined to commit another offense.
What Constitutes as a Habitual Offender?
An individual cannot face the penalties of the three strikes law unless they are a habitual offender. In order for the habitual offender to be considered for the three strikes law, they must meet certain criteria, such as:
– The habitual offender must be convicted of a violent felony twice before.
– Each conviction had to have taken place on separate occasions.
– The present offense must be a violent felony.
– The present offense was committed within five years of serving another sentence for a violent felony.
– The offender has not been pardoned for a previous violent felony.
If these criteria are satisfied, the consequences will ultimately depend on the seriousness of each of the crimes as well as the discretion of the judge. In most cases, if the third conviction is a felony conviction that would impose a life sentence of imprisonment, the court will generally impose a life sentence in prison. Similarly, if the third conviction is ruled a first-degree felony, this may warrant a 30 year sentence, while a second degree felony may warrant a 15 year sentence. Ultimately, the judge is still given his or her discretion to impose the appropriate sentence.
Do I Need a Criminal Attorney?
Florida’s three strikes law can carry potentially serious consequences, including life in prison. Because the consequences can be devastating, it is imperative to have the guidance of a legal professional if you or a loved one is facing charges. The legal team at the Khonsari Law Group can help guide you through this trying time and can effectively defend your rights. For more information, visit KLG or request a free consultation today.