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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 07:52 AM

37. Under Florida's sentencing guidelines there's virtually no chance this guy does much time if any

Last edited Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:26 PM - Edit history (1)

There's a lot of heat in this thread, but not much light, so I'll try to provide some information that might put this matter in perspective.

First, as has been pointed out, this guy was charged with a felony for what would otherwise be a misdemeanor petty theft offense because he's a multiple repeat offender. Interestingly, as will be shown, this approach may well keep him out of jail (or at least get him a shorter sentence) than an approach that applies a mandatory misdemeanor sentence to multiple offenders.

Second, under Florida sentencing guidelines, felonies are broken into different classes. A repeat petty theft offender is charged with a third degree felony, the lowest level of felony. The maximum sentence for any third degree felony is five years. But there is a formula to determine the minimum sentence. The offense at hand, plus any prior felony offenses are "scored" and only when the score hits 44 points does a minimum sentence of one year kick in. This guy's multiple petty theft offense is scored at 4 points and as best I can tell, despite his rather long rap sheet, his total score based on prior felonies will be below 44 which means he still isn't subject to a mandatory sentence. The judge has discretion to let him go or fine him instead of sending him to prison. And in practice, where the point total is below 44, its pretty common for judges to impose a "community control" sentence (a form of house arrest) rather than send the accused to prison. At most he's likely to face 60 days, which is the maximum sentence for a second degree misdemeanor (but which doesn't apparently apply to repeat petty theft offenses).

Thus, for all of the noise on this thread, the Florida approach in this instance (but not necessarily in other instances, such as those involving violent crimes) is commendable in that it avoids imposing minimum sentences until someone has accumulated a substantial record of criminal activity and uses a formula under which the minimum sentence varies depending on the actual record of the offender.

I'm curious how others here would approach this situation. Should stealing a $1 soda not be a crime at all? How would that work? Should it always be a misdemeanor? Should someone who commits the same offense over and over be treated the same as a first time offender? If not, should the multiple offender be subject to a mandatory sentence? Again, under a mandatory misdemeanor sentence situation, this guy could be facing certain jail time. As it stands, he's going to have another felony charge on his record, but chances are the judge will have the discretion to let him go without any jail time or with very minimal jail time rather than be compelled to sentence him to a specified minimum sentence.

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
shawn703 Apr 2012 OP
bluesbassman Apr 2012 #1
PoliticAverse Apr 2012 #2
russspeakeasy Apr 2012 #4
PoliticAverse Apr 2012 #5
KamaAina Apr 2012 #17
lib2DaBone Apr 2012 #33
Blue_Tires Apr 2012 #46
yellowcanine Apr 2012 #45
libinnyandia Apr 2012 #3
joeglow3 Apr 2012 #6
grantcart Apr 2012 #18
NickB79 Apr 2012 #41
d_r Apr 2012 #7
cstanleytech Apr 2012 #8
AlbertCat Apr 2012 #9
grasswire Apr 2012 #12
shawn703 Apr 2012 #15
tabasco Apr 2012 #21
shawn703 Apr 2012 #22
tabasco Apr 2012 #24
shawn703 Apr 2012 #27
tabasco Apr 2012 #28
shawn703 Apr 2012 #29
tabasco Apr 2012 #39
shawn703 Apr 2012 #40
NickB79 Apr 2012 #43
tabasco Apr 2012 #51
shawn703 Apr 2012 #52
tabasco Apr 2012 #53
shawn703 Apr 2012 #54
tabasco Apr 2012 #56
shawn703 Apr 2012 #57
alp227 Apr 2012 #23
ZombieHorde Apr 2012 #25
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2012 #36
Auggie Apr 2012 #10
grasswire Apr 2012 #11
NickB79 Apr 2012 #42
onenote Apr 2012 #44
Paper Roses Apr 2012 #13
Occulus Apr 2012 #14
CanSocDem Apr 2012 #19
Dogtown Apr 2012 #35
d_r Apr 2012 #38
FarCenter Apr 2012 #16
SDjack Apr 2012 #20
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #26
Dogtown Apr 2012 #34
sarcasmo Apr 2012 #30
chrisa Apr 2012 #31
saras Apr 2012 #32
LineReply Under Florida's sentencing guidelines there's virtually no chance this guy does much time if any
onenote Apr 2012 #37
grasswire Apr 2012 #47
onenote Apr 2012 #48
grasswire Apr 2012 #50
KinMd Apr 2012 #49
lovuian Apr 2012 #55
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