sentencing scoresheet

Post: Sentencing Scoresheet in Florida

florida sentencing scoresheet
sentencing guidelines

According to Florida Statute 921.0024, a “sentencing scoresheet must be prepared for every defendant who is sentenced for a felony offense.” This scoring system, also referred to as Florida sentencing guidelines, assigns points to each offense based on its severity and the presence of certain aggravating factors. The more serious the crime, the more points you get, and the more points you get, the higher your chances of incarceration. Add in your prior record and any aggravating circumstances, such as serious harm to a victim, and you’re probably looking at a long stretch.

But there are often ways to avoid the worst-case scenario. So it’s best to be represented by an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who may be able to help interpret the numbers in a way that results in the best outcome possible in your case.

Understanding the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet

The Florida Sentencing Scoresheet is a crucial tool that plays a significant role in determining the minimum allowable sentence for felony offenses in Florida. This comprehensive scoring system assigns offense levels ranging from 1 to 10 to different felony offenses, with higher offense levels corresponding to more serious crimes. Each offense level is associated with a specific point value, and these points are used to calculate the total sentencing score for an individual. It is important to note that the points assigned to a specific offense level do not change, ensuring consistency in sentencing across the state.

The scoring process involves categorizing offenses as Primary Offenses or Additional Offenses and taking a defendant’s record into account. The offense with the highest offense level is designated as the Primary Offense, while the remaining offenses are categorized as Additional Offenses. Past criminal history is considered the Prior Record. Points are assigned to each category based on the offense level, with higher point values for the Primary Offense compared to Additional Offenses and Prior Record.

The offense levels and their corresponding point values in the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet are as follows: Level 1 crimes are the relatively least serious, and Level 10 crimes are the most serious.

Each of these levels is assigned a certain number of points.

Offense LevelPrimary Offense Point ValueAdditional Offense Point ValuePrior Record Point Value
Level 140.70.5
Level 2101.20.8
Level 3162.40.7
Level 4223.62.4
Level 5285.43.6
Level 636189
Level 7562814
Level 8743719
Level 9924623
Level 101165829

Once the points for the Primary Offense, Additional Offenses, and Prior Record are determined, they are added together to calculate the total sentencing score. The higher the score, the dimmer your future.

Aggravating Factors in the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet

While offense levels and prior criminal history play a significant role in determining the sentencing score, the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet also considers additional points for certain aggravating factors. These factors can increase an individual’s total sentencing score and potentially lead to harsher penalties.

Some of the aggravating factors considered in the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet include:

  1. Victim Injury: Points are assessed based on the severity of injuries inflicted upon a victim during the commission of the offense. The number of victim injury points can range from 4 for slight injuries to 240 for second-degree murder.
  2. Legal Status Violations: Additional points may be assigned if the offense involves violations of legal status, such as violation of bond conditions, failure to appear, or non-completion of pretrial intervention or diversion programs. These violations can result in the addition of 4 points to the total sentencing score.
  3. Firearm Possession: Possessing a firearm during the commission of an offense can lead to the assessment of additional points. The Florida Sentencing Scoresheet assigns 18 points for firearm possession and 25 points for possession of a semi-automatic firearm or machine gun.
  4. Prior Serious Felonies: If an individual has prior convictions for serious felonies, additional points may be added to their total sentencing score. The specific number of points will depend on the offense level of the prior convictions.
  5. Enhancement Multipliers: In cases of drug trafficking offenses, the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet applies an enhancement multiplier of 1.5, increasing the point value for the offense. This means that drug trafficking offenses are punished more severely than other felonies.

It is important to note that the presence of these aggravating factors can significantly impact an individual’s total sentencing score, potentially resulting in longer prison sentences.

Florida Sentencing Scoresheet Attorneys

If all of that seems confusing and complicated, you are not alone. That’s why it’s always best to be represented by a skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney. The Rivas Law Firm, with over 120 years of combined experience, is committed to defending clients against a wide range of criminal charges. Our skilled attorneys will fight vigorously to protect your rights and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today at 407-644-2466 for a free consultation and personalized assistance with Florida Sentencing Scoresheet cases.

Criminal defense attorney The Rivas Law Firm