Criminal Sentencing in Florida: Orlando Criminal Lawyers
- When does criminal sentencing occur? Criminal sentencing occurs after a negotiated plea with the state, or after a plea to the bench, or after a loss at trial.
- Negotiated Plea with the State: A negotiated plea with the state involves the Defense Attorney communicating with the State Attorney about what a specific sentence would be in the given case. For example, let’s assume a person is charged with a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison. But let’s assume the state doesn’t feel strongly about their case and they want to resolve the case with 1 year in jail. The Defense attorney feels that there is a lot of mitigation that the Defense can offer, such as the Defendant’s drug abuse and his current treatment plan. The Defense Attorney engages in discussions with the State, and the State agrees to drop the sentence down to 1 year of probation instead of jail. Once the Defendant goes to court and enters that plea, he has been “sentenced.”
- Plea to the bench: Another example of where a person is sentenced is where the State and the Defense cannot reach an agreement. Instead, the Defense enters a blind plea to the bench and offers mitigation witnesses to the Court to consider for a lesser sentence. The sentence that is imposed will be by the judge. After the judge listens to the evidence, the judge will pronounce the sentence. At that time, the Defendant has been “sentenced.”
- Loss at trial: The last form of criminal sentencing in Florida occurs after a Defendant loses at trial. In this example, a person goes to trial, loses, and the judge now has the ultimate decision in how to sentence the Defendant. Much like a plea to the bench, the Defense has an opportunity to present witnesses who can provide mitigation and explanations for why the Defendant isn’t a danger, or why the Defendant needs help over jail time. The judge will listen to the evidence, and pronounce the sentence.
Criminal Sentencing in Florida occurs in several ways, and is dictated by several factors. If you have questions give our law firm a call for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Criminal Sentencing in Florida
Criminal Defense Law Firms in Central Florida. 407-930-8912