Florida has a reputation for tough laws and a no tolerance policy on crime. Among these tough laws is the 10-20-Life law which was designed in an effort to control gun related crimes in the state. This “zero tolerance” law applies to persons who are in possession of a firearm while committing or attempting to commit a crime. The law applies to a large number of situations and can be used to throw the book at individuals involved in all kinds of crimes. The 10-20-Life law gives judges the power to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 10, 15, 20, 25 years or life in prison depending upon the nature of the crime committed. As such, it is important to have a professional criminal lawyer in Miami on your side. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges involving a weapon, it is a good idea to get in touch with a Miami criminal defense attorney without further delay.
Understanding the 10-20-Life Law
Florida’s 10-20-Life law applies to a number of different situations and the outcome following a conviction may vary depending on individual circumstances from case to case. With that in mind, it is best to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Miami for more information.
Here are some of the felonies in which the mandatory minimum sentence must be applied under the 10-20-Life law in Florida:
– Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Kidnapping
– Sexual Battery, Aggravated Stalking, Aggravated Child Abuse, Aggravated Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult
– Carjacking, Home Invasion, Robbery, or Burglary
– Drug Trafficking, Importation of Cocaine and other drugs, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
– Aircraft Piracy
Sentencing Under the 10-20-Life Law
Under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, a person convicted of any of the above felonies (except under certain conditions) while armed must serve:
– 10 years in prison if the above felonies are committed while armed with a firearm or destructive device
– 20 years in prison if a firearm was fired during the commission of the crime
– 25 years to life in jail if the firearm was discharged and killed or seriously injured someone during the commission of the crime
The sentence also varies for the use of a semi automatic weapon with a high capacity box magazine or machine gun. In this case, the minimum sentence extends to 15, 20, and 25 years to life respectively.
In cases of aggravated assault, burglary, carjacking, or possession of a firearm by a felon, a minimum 3 year sentence is imposed.
If You Need Help
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and is facing a tough situation in the Miami area, it is time to get in touch with a criminal lawyer in Miami. The staff at Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. and our Miami criminal lawyers will offer the best advice for dealing with each particular case. We may also be able to use different resources to better prepare your case for a more favorable decision when it goes to a preliminary hearing or trial.