Additional Factors of Battery Convictions

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

Apart from the physical condition of the victim in battery cases, there are additional factors that affect the severity of repercussions for the defendant. The presence or use of a weapon, characteristics of the victim, and characteristics of the defendant can determine the severity of the punishment when convicted of battery.

In the case of a Class E or Class H felony, an additional five years in prison can be added to a sentence if the defendant used or threatened to use a weapon. For Class I felonies, an additional four can be added. These weapons include anything that can cause great boldly harm or death, even if they are not used.

Secondly, if the person is over 62 years old, it is assumed that their older age puts them at greater risk of harm. Because of this, when in court, the defendant has to demonstrate that they did not personally put the elder person at a greater risk.

If the crime has been committed against people that embody certain characteristics, the defendant can receive more severe punishment. If the battery has been committed against a grand juror, trial juror, public officer, a village, city, or town employee, an operator of a transit vehicle, or a protected employee, the defendant’s punishment can increase in severity.

On the other hand, if the defendant is categorized by certain characteristics, they can receive more punishment if convicted. If they are a prisoner, a person that is institutionalized as a sexually violent person, or a person under a restraining order, penalties can be more severe.

While the punishment basis for felonies is identified by which class the action falls under, these surrounding factors can determine how long the imprisonment is, how high the fine is, or if any additional years or fines will be added to the punishment. A Waukesha Criminal Defense Attorney would likely attest to the possibility of having these repercussions reduced. If accused of battery, hiring an attorney for legal representation is a favorable option in order to reduce negative effects of the situation.

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Florida Felony Sentencing Guidelines

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

Florida has an extensive criminal sentencing system history that dates back to when all felonies were eligible for parole for crimes committed before October 1, 1983 even for what is termed “life” felonies where the prescribed punishment was a life sentence. Historical developments had made it necessary for the system to be changed several times, primarily because of the increase in the Florida population as well as practical issues such as the costs of state incarceration.

The current sentencing guidelines for felonies today bear very little resemblance to the original system back before 1983 but which remains a threshold for determining if the individual will be held to that standard or the current one. In other words, a felony i.e. murder committed prior to October 1, 1983 will be treated differently from crimes committed on or after that date. More information about felony sentencing is available on the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm.

There are five classifications of felony in Florida for purposes of sentencing, all of which sentences of more than a year are carried out in a state prison. There are many exceptions to these rules as any competent Florida criminal defense lawyer will be aware of.

  1. Capital Felony: The Florida Statutes provides under § 921.141 that a capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole. Capital felonies include armed kidnapping, capital drug trafficking, and murder.
  2. Life Felony: Life felonies committed before October 1, 1983 is eligible for life imprisonment or no less than 30 years while those committed on or after that date is eligible for life imprisonment or no less than 40 years. However, there are several more conditions that have to be considered based on exactly when the crime was committed and the nature of the felony. For example, the punishment of “lewd or lascivious” molestation of a minor by an individual 18 years or older committed on or after September 1, 2005 is life imprisonment or no less than 25 years followed by lifelong probation or community control.
  3. First Degree Felony: Generally, this type of crime warrants a sentence of up to 30 years unless specifically provided for by statute which could bring it up to life imprisonment.
  4. Second Degree Felony: A conviction under this classification carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
  5. Third Degree Felony: Under the current statutes, a felon in the third degree may spend as much as 5 years in prison.
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