Understanding the Three Strikes Law in Florida

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Florida 3 Strikes Law

Since 1999, the state of Florida has imposed a 3 strikes law that requires a judge to sentence a third time violent felony offender to a mandatory minimum term in prison, based upon the crime committed. The length of the sentence will depend on the type of violent felony crime committed.

There are certain criteria which must be met before a mandatory minimum penalty can be imposed at conviction. The accused individual must have had two prior convictions for violent felonies. Each felony conviction must have taken place on a separate day and must not be directly connected with any of his or her other felony convictions. The current charges must be for a violent felony crime such as rape, sexual battery, robbery, kidnapping, arson, voluntary manslaughter or murder. The third offense must have been committed while either serving a part of his or her prior felony sentence, within five years of finishing that sentence or within 5 years of his or her last violent felony conviction. If any one of the previous convictions has been overturned or pardoned, the current offense will not qualify under the 3 Strikes Law.

Providing all qualifications are met, a judge is obligated by law to impose one of the minimum sentences as dictated by the 3 Strikes Law. Your best chance for being able to successfully challenge a third strike crime accusation, and maintain your freedom is to retain legal counsel from a knowledgeable and dedicated criminal defense attorney.

Each Fort Myers criminal defense attorney from Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law has an in-depth understanding of criminal law, as well as years of experience in negotiation and litigation to help clients defend their rights. One of our lead attorneys formerly served with the Office of the State Attorney and another is board certified in criminal trial law. It is this level of expertise you want advocating and aggressively fighting for your rights and freedoms. If you have been charged with a third strike, you need to act fast. Contact our firm for information regarding defending a serious felony offense that has a mandatory minimum sentence of double the statutory minimum.