Keeping a Tally on Your Freedom: A Quick Guide to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code

Did you know that in Florida, if you’ve been charged with a felony, the state keeps score? What we mean by that is that depending on the severity of the alleged crime, how the court assigns the minimum sentence for that crime will be based on the Florida Criminal Punishment Code or the CPC score sheet.

Ranking Crimes by Level

The Florida legislature divides up felonies ranging from Level 1 (least severe) to Level 10 (extremely severe). See this resource for more. Level 1 crimes include felonies such as tampering, changing, or adjusting an odometer, or counterfeiting a state lottery ticket. These crimes are considered felonies, but are of the lowest level. Examples of Level 10 felonies are murder and kidnapping and are considered the most serious of all. Essentially, the CPC is a system of assigning a point value to a particular crime to determine one’s jail sentence. The higher the level of felony you committed, the more points get added to your score sheet.

Doing the Math

The state prosecutor will add up the charges against you on the score sheet, and your defense attorney will be able to see what you’re up against. This is why it is absolutely crucial to have an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney fighting for you. Many times, the prosecutor’s office could have the wrong information, and this could lead to an inaccurate score sheet. Don’t let the math take away your precious freedom!

Adding it All Up

If you score 44 points and above, there is a strong likelihood that you are facing mandatory prison time. If you score less than 44 points, you may be eligible for less severe sentencing consequences, such as probation or community service.

You can also get additional points added for other factors aside from the crime itself. This could include such things as, were there any injuries to victims? Were you on probation when you committed the alleged crime? Were weapons involved in the commission of the crime, do you have a prior criminal record and more! These factors could push your points above 44 and subject you to potential incarceration.

Contact Us

This blog only covers the basics of Florida’s CPC score sheet. Merely because the sentencing guidelines scoresheet adds up to jail time doesn’t mean that will necessarily be the outcome for your case. There are many more details and nuances we did not cover that are essential to this process. A skilled defense attorney can work to lower the point total, or persuade the prosecution and the court to consider a sentence below that which is called for by the scoresheet. We are here to help you. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in Florida, don’t delay when it comes to your future. Contact an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer that’s familiar with the CPC, and knows how to handle score sheet calculations. Call our law firm at (305) 373-4400 today.

Law Offices of Barry M. Wax