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Understanding a Prison Score Sheet


When a criminal defendant in Sanford, Orlando, Deland, or Kissimmee is facing a felony charge the question of what a person “scores” should always be asked. In Florida, in felony cases, only the assigned prosecutor to a case will prepare a Florida Department of Corrections Score Sheet prior to the imposition of a sentence. Often, when a defendant is facing a serious felony charge the first concern is what that person scores. If the person scores less than 44 points the Court does not necessarily have to sentence the Defendant to the Florida Department of Corrections “prison”, if the person scores more than 44 points prison is mandatory unless there is grounds for a downward departure. Here is how a Sanford and Lake Mary Criminal Defense Attorney goes through a Florida Department of Corrections Sheet:

First, the prosecutor identifies what the primary offense is in the particular case. If a Defendant is facing several charges or counts, the State Attorney will use the most serious (highest-scoring offense). For example, if a person is facing (1)Fleeing and Eluding (2) Resisting with Violence and (3) DUI the prosecutor will use the Resisting with Violence count as the primary offense as it is a Level 5 Felony and scores 28 sentence points, higher than the other 2 counts.

Next, the prosecutor will add the points for our additional counts, these points are usually far lower. In our example above the DUI will add less than 1 point. After the additional offenses, the prosecutor will add points for victim injury and the severity of victim injury if applicable. Finally, prior offenses are tallied to come up with the grand point total.

Although, the above seems simple enough many defendants, unfortunately, face lengthier sentences than legally permissible due to lawyer error or oversight. An experienced Sanford Criminal Defense Lawyer should thoroughly go over a score sheet and not assume the prosecutor completed the score sheet correctly. Additionally, if you are facing prison a skilled Sanford Defense Attorney should complete a sample score sheet on his/her own allowing for no surprises to arise at the time of sentence. Here is the actual score sheet manual that is released by the Florida Department of Corrections A skilled Sanford Criminal Defense Lawyer keeps this manual close by.

If you are charged with a felony offense in Seminole, Orange, or Volusia Counties and want a Criminal Lawyer that is experienced with preparing and reviewing a Florida Department of Corrections Score Sheet give Ryan a call.