“Three strikes and you’re out!” This is a term heard synonymous with baseball, a great American pastime. In recent decades, the term has come into common usage in schools, homes as well as law offices and courtrooms. So, what exactly does this mean when one is facing criminal charges? Read on to learn about Florida’s Three Strikes Law and what it means for you here in Port Richey, Fla. and the rest of Tampa Bay.
The U.S. Justice Department defines the “Three Strikes” law as applying when a defendant is convicted in a “federal court of a serious violent felony and has two or more prior convictions in federal or state courts, at least one of which is a ‘serious violent felony.” Upon further investigation, Three Strikes Laws and its application varies across the nation from state to state.
Florida Statute 775.084
In Florida, the Three Strikes Law falls under FL Statute 775.084. The statute defines Florida’s stance on the law as applying to violent career criminals, habitual felony offenders and habitual violent felony offenders. The statute includes mandatory prison terms and enhanced prison terms for those convicted under the law.
Habitual Felony Offender
Statute 775.084 declares a habitual felony offender to be a defendant who has previously been convicted of two or more felonies or qualified offenses in the state of Florida. The felony for which the statute applies must have been committed either while the defendant was imprisoned or under supervision as ordered by the courts after a prior felony conviction or within five years of the defendant’s last felony or qualified offense conviction. The statute also applies if the offense for which the defendant is convicted occurred within five years of the defendant’s release from prison, probation, community control or other court imposed supervision.
Violent Felony Offender
A defendant who has previously been convicted of a violent offense or conspiracy to commit such an act—and at least one conviction was for arson, kidnapping, armed robbery, sexual battery or other violent offense—is considered a habitual violent felony offender. In this case, the court must impose a mandatory minimum prison term, up to and including life.
How Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins P.A. Can Help
At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A, clients will find experienced Criminal Defense attorneys whom they can trust with their case. Most staff members have been a part of the esteemed law office for many years and part of the Port Richey, Hudson, and Holiday, Fla. communities for many more so they are more than qualified and knowledgeable in cases like yours.