Habitual Felony Offenders
Miami Sentencing Hearing Attorneys for Repeat Offenders
Minimum mandatory and enhanced sentences can be one of the biggest hurdles for a defendant to overcome when he is charged with a serious felony offense. These types of mandatory sentences and enhancements create an inherent risk for defendants going to trial because the minimum or maximum exposure for the defendant’s incarceration is so high. Therefore, if the state of Florida is attempting to convict you, a friend, or a family member of a crime that could classify the person as a habitual felony offender, you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Habitual felony offender cases should not be taken lightly. Depending on the underlying charge, you could be facing a maximum sentence of 10 years, 30 years, or even life in prison. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Hubbs Law Firm can sit down with you and discuss possible motions and legal defenses in your case. Attorney E.J. Hubbs is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. That means he is one of the few attorneys in Miami that can testify in court as a knowledgeable attorney in criminal trial law. He has handled thousands of serious felony cases in his career with experience as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Hubbs Law Firm handles all types of felony cases, including habitual felony offender cases, in Miami-Dade County, Hialeah County, North Miami Beach, Miami Shores, Kendall, Doral, Homestead, North Miami, and South Miami, as well as other cities and areas in the Greater Miami Area.
Contact us at (305) 570-4802 immediately to speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case.
Habitual Felony Offender Requirements
Under Florida Statute § 775.084, a habitual felony offender is defined as any person commits:
- Any combination of two or more felonies in this State or other qualified offenses, and
The felony for which the defendant is to be sentenced was committed:
- While the defendant was serving a prison sentence or probation for a felony or other qualified offense, or
- Within five years of the date of conviction of the defendant’s last felony or other qualifying offense or release from prison, probation, community control, control release, or conditional release
In addition, the felony for which the defendant will be sentenced, and one of the two prior felony convictions, cannot be a violation of Florida statute § 893.13 relating to the possession of a controlled substance. The court must also ensure that the defendant has not received a pardon or that a qualifying offense has been set aside in a post-conviction motion.
Notice of Habitual Felony Offender
The state of Florida must provide the defendant notice of its intent to seek habitual felony offender sanctions so that the defendant is aware of his or her maximum exposure for prison in the event that there is a trial. This is generally done by the prosecutor personally serving a copy of the notice to the defendant in court.
Consequences of Habitual Felony Offender Sentences
If you were convicted of a felony crime or other qualifying offense, you are entitled to a hearing to determine whether you can be sentenced as a habitual felony offender. It is the state of Florida’s burden to prove the sentencing enhancement.
If the state is able to prove that you are a habitual felony offender, then the judge has the discretion to sentence you to an enhanced maximum sentence including a:
- Third-degree felony – 10 years in prison (rather than five years)
- Second-degree felony – 30 years in prison (rather than 15 years)
- First-degree felony – Life in prison (rather than 30 years)
As previously stated, these enhanced maximum sentences are completely discretionary, and the judge is not required to sentence a defendant to the maximum sentence. Also, habitual felony offender designations do not carry minimum mandatory prison sentences. That means that the judge still has the discretion to sentence you to probation or grant a downward departure on your case below the sentencing guidelines.
Find an Attorney for Habitual Felony Offenders in Miami-Dade County, FL
If you received notice from the state of Florida that they intend to designate you as a habitual felony offender, you should contact Hubbs Law Firm immediately. Habitual felony offender cases should not be taken lightly. Depending on the underlying charge, you could be facing a maximum sentence of 10 years, 30 years, or even life in prison. Our attorneys can sit down with you and discuss possible motions and legal defenses on your case.
Our founding attorney E.J. Hubbs is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. He has handled thousands of serious felony cases in his career with experience as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Hubbs Law Firm handles all types of felony cases, including habitual felony offender cases, in Miami-Dade County, Hialeah, North Miami Beach, Miami Shores, Kendall, Doral, Homestead, North Miami, and South Miami, as well as other cities and areas in the Greater Miami Area.
Call us today at (305) 570-4802 for a free, no-obligations consultation.
- § 775.084 F.S. –Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language that outlines the habitual felony offender requirements. Also, find out more information about how the sentences are enhanced by the Statute and to what degree.
- Miami-Dade County Criminal and Traffic Clerk of Court –Visit the official website of the Miami-Dade County Criminal and Traffic Clerk, created to provide the community with an online resource to help residents and visitors obtain information and conduct business with us. The Website allows an individual to get information on their criminal record or current pending case.