Understanding Florida's Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet

Anuraag Hari Singhal

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Posted about 4 years ago. Applies to Florida, 11 helpful votes

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1

Primary Offense

The first section of the scoresheet lists the accused's primary offense. If the accused has several charges, the State attorney's office will list the charge that results in the highest score. Depending upon the severity of the felony, it is assigned a level from one through ten. On this line alone, one can score anywhere between four and 116 points.

2

Additional Offenses

In section two of the scoresheet, additional offenses for which the accused is to be sentenced are listed. For example, if the accused is charged with seven counts of Burglary, section one will list one Burglary, and section two will list the other six. The points here are less than what one receives for a primary offense.

3

Victim Injury

In this section, the prosecutor will indicate the level of the victim's injury if any. There can be no injury which would result in zero points, slight injury (four points), or just about any other level of injury up to death by second degree murder (240 points).

4

Prior Record

One's criminal history, felony and misdemeanor under all names, in every State is intended to be included here. Again, based on severity, different crimes are accorded different point values. Juvenile records can be scored if the accused is 23 years old or below depending on when the sentencing for the juvenile crimes occurred.

5

Legal Status Violation

Four points are added if the accused was on some type of release such as bail when the crime for which he is to be sentenced occurred.

6

Community Sanction Violation

If the defendant is before the Court for sentencing on a violation of probation (VOP) or violation of community control (VOCC), each successive violation costs six points, or if the violations are new felonies, then each successive violation costs twelve points.

7

Firearm Enhancement

In certain firearm crimes, eighteen additional points are added because of the gun. If the firearm is a semi-automatic or machine gun, 25 points may be added.

8

Prior Serious Felony

There is a scoreable thirty point enhancement that the prosecutor may use if the defendant has a prior serious felony. Qualifying offenses are specifically listed in the information provided to supplement Fla. R. Cr. Pro. 3.992.

9

Special Enhancements

If the primary offense qualifies, special enhancements which multiply the scoresheet value can be applied here. Among others, these include "Street Gang," "Law Enforcement Protection," and "Drug Trafficking."

10

Sentence Computation

All the points are added, and if the total is less than or equal to 44, a non-prison sentence is appropriate. If the points are more than 44, the number 28 is subtracted and that total is multiplied by 0.75. The result is the lowest allowable prison sentence in months. The scoresheet only sets the minimum sentence. So, for example, if after all points are added, the defendant's total is sixty, then 28 is subtracted, leaving 32. That number is multiplied by 0.75, leaving 24. This means 24 months, or two years in prison is the lowest sentence.

11

Conclusion

Errors are often made on scoresheets. Even putting it in the simplest possible terms, the scoresheet is a complicated schedule of numbers. It is always best to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer represent you throughout to avoid errors that could result in unintended consequences.

Additional Resources

Raag Singhal's website

Val v. State, 741 So.2d 1199 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999)

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