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Tallahassee, FL |

FIRST OFF, please do not tell me I need an attorney. Asking for interpretation of the Punishment code has nothing to do with my case, ANY attorney who has studied the law shall know how to read the Criminal Punishment Code & tell me what certain things mean. According to the Punishment Code 1st degree murder is a level 10 offense, WHILE 2nd degree murder is a Level 8 offense. I was told by someone the 'attempts' are always a level below the actual crime. So 1st degree ATTEMPTED murder would be a Level below the actual crime (1st degree murder) which makes it a Level 9 Offense. If 2nd Degree Murder is a Level 8 offense, wouldn't that make 2nd degree ATTEMPTED murder a Level 7 Offense???

F.L Criminal Punishment Code:

Attorney Answers 3

  1. No. The attempt rule you are trying to apply does not apply if the attempted crime is specifically listed in the offense severity ranking chart. So Attempted 2nd degree Murder is a Level 8 Offense because it is specifically listed as a level 8 offense.

    Simply put, it is a level 8 offense because the legislature says it is a level 8 offense.

  2. There was a volley of answers on a similar question a few days ago and I can't help but wonder if you are the same person who posted then. At that time I chimed in that I thought (albeit I was certain to say that I was making an educated guess and that I was not certain of my answer) that attempted 2nd is a Level 8, and I still believe that is true, but that's not precisely why I'm trying here, now.

    From your {written} tone I sense a lot of frustration. Please understand that any of us (Bar members) who take the time to type in an answer to a question is trying to be helpful, but that doesn't guarantee you anything but good intentions (and we all know where those can lead). That said, you should know that one of the things that you learn as a lawyer (both in school and in practice) is that things are not always (or even usually) cut and dry. I have found that if you put 5 lawyers in a room and ask a question then you are going to get somewhere in between 1 and 5 different answers. This is because, not withstanding the ideal that the law, once written is what it is and that there can be no more to it is untrue. The fact is that there is very little true "black letter" law. What is codified by the Legislature is always subject to interpretation, and that is one of the main reasons as to why, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within our State (and in others, and amongst the various federal districts), you see varying results in what are seemingly similar situations.

    As you say, yes, "any attorney who has studied the law shall know how to read the Criminal Punishment Code & tell me what certain things mean", but that doesn't necessarily mean that you will get it correct, or get it the same way, from varying lawyers.

    I still think its a Level 8 and wish you the best of luck!

  3. is the Link to the Florida Department of Corrections Criminal Score Sheet Preparation Manual. *Be advised* You should retain an attorney who has calculated and reviewed score sheets before! A manual made available to the public is no substitute to an experienced criminal law attorney.

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