On February 26, 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 228 (SB 228). The legislation deleted aggravated assault from the list of convictions carrying mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment if during the commission of the offense the convicted person possessed a firearm, destructive device, semiautomatic firearm, and its high-capacity detachable box magazine, or machine gun.
Criminal charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences often put both alleged offenders and judges in difficult spots. A person who is accused of a crime that involves a possible minimum sentence may be less inclined to fight the charges at trial out of fear for the possible consequences of a conviction, giving a prosecutor substantial leverage in pretrial negotiations. Similarly, judges are powerless to deviate from mandatory minimum sentences even in cases in which an alleged offender has no prior criminal record.
While the change to the state’s law for aggravated assault with a firearm or other weapon offenses was certainly a welcome one, many other criminal offenses in Florida still carry very steep mandatory minimum sentences. Any person who is facing a possible mandatory minimum will want to immediately retain legal counsel for help possibly getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Additionally, a person who is convicted of committing or attempting to commit murder, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, arson, aggravated battery, kidnapping, escape, aircraft piracy, aggravated child abuse, aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated stalking, or drug trafficking under Florida Statute § 893.135 can be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison if he or she possessed a firearm or destructive device, 20 years if the firearm or destructive device was discharged, or 25 years if the firearm or destructive device was discharged and resulted in serious bodily harm or death.
Habitual felony offenders, habitual violent felony offenders, three-time violent felony offenders, and violent career criminals can also face mandatory minimum sentences for certain criminal convictions.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan Hoffman can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (305) 928-1669 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.