We Provide Aggressive, Sensible
Criminal Defense Representation

Florida announces new sentencing guidelines for juveniles

On Behalf of | May 2, 2014 | Criminal Defense |

It’s taken almost four years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Florida must change the way it handles the sentencing of juvenile criminals, but the state Legislature has finally come to a consensus on how to treat juvenile offenders who are convicted of violent crimes.

The bill, which passed the Florida senate in a unanimous 36-0 vote, set out new sentencing guidelines and keeps the state concurrent with recent decisions by federal courts. 

The bill would herald many significant changes to Florida law. Juveniles serving long—or life—sentences will automatically have their sentences reviewed by a court and, if the court sees fit, could be released. For juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes, these reviews would take place after 20 years and again at 30 years, while juveniles who have previously been convicted of violent crimes will not have their sentencing reconsidered.

The measure would also make several other changes:

–  Minimum sentencing for juveniles who have committed a capital murder will be 40 years if they don’t otherwise receive a life sentence.

–  Several new factors will have to be weighed by judges tasked with sentencing a juvenile, including the maturity of the offender, his or her background, the nature of the crime, and the potential repercussions on the community.

The impetus for the new legislation was a 2010 case in which Jacksonville teen was sentenced to life for robbery. The Supreme Court ruled that his sentencing constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

The bill will now head to the House for approval.

Finding yourself or a loved one facing a conviction for a violent crime can be scary. However, hiring a Florida attorney with the experience to navigate the intricacies of the law when it pertains to violent juvenile crimes may just be the difference between a ruined life and one that can be redeemed. 

Source: ocala.com, “Legislature settles on sentencing plan for juvenile,” Lloyd Dunkelberger, April 23, 2014

FindLaw Network

Download The Rudman Law Group App

The Rudman Law Group
In Case of Arrest
In Case of Emergency
Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store
Panic Button

Securely saving your information, and get legal help at the touch of a button. Whenever, wherever.

Submit Documents

Easily submit documents to Rudman Law. No more fax machine or scanner needed. The app does all the work.

Share The App

With the share feature, you can easily refer the Rudman Law Group to your friends.

Contact Our Palm Beach County Attorneys Now

For aggressive advocacy both in and out of the courtroom, call our firm at 561-815-8751 or 888-497-1668 toll free to schedule a free initial consultation. You may also contact us online. We accept all major credit cards.

Free initial consultations | All major credit cards accepted