Did you know that Florida utilizes the Criminal Punishment Code (CPC) scoring system to determine the minimum allowable sentence for all felony crimes?
Under the CPC, every felony offense is assigned an Offense Level between 1 and 10, which then carries a point value. Generally the more serious the crime, the higher the offense level.
In simple terms, the point value for a person’s crimes are added together and if the number is 44 points or more, the person is facing mandatory prison (commonly referred to as scoring prison). If the number is less than 44 points, or qualifies under the Chronic Substance Abuser exception, the person is eligible for probation or community control.
Chronic Substance Abuser Exception
Under Florida Statute 948.20, if a person convicted of a non-violent felony scores less than 60 points and is found to be a “chronic substance abuser,” a judge may sentence the person to drug offender probation in lieu of prison.
Preparing the CPC Scoresheet
To determine what a person scores, the crimes are designated as Primary Offense, Additional Offenses, and Prior Record at sentencing.
The Primary Offense is the crime with the highest offense level.
If two crimes are the same offense level, only one will be designated as the Primary Offense and the other will be placed as an Additional Offense.
Finally, all past criminal history is placed under Prior Record.
The offenses are then placed on a CPC scoresheet and the amount of points assigned is determined by the Offense Level of the Primary Offense, Additional Offenses, and Prior Record.
As can be expected, the point values are higher when the offense appears as a Primary Offense than it is as an Additional Offense or Prior Record.
|Offense Level||Primary Offense
Additional Sentencing Factors
In addition to the Offense Level points, the CPC also assesses additional points when certain circumstances are met:
- Victim Injury
- Legal Status Violations
- Community Sanction Violations
- Firearm / Semi-Automatic Weapons
- Prior Serious Felonies
- Enhancement Multipliers
Unfortunately, a person’s ultimate score can many times be significantly increased because of these factors.
Calculating the Point Total (And Sentence)
To determine a person’s point total – and whether they qualify for prison – the Primary Offense, Additional Offenses, Prior Record and Additional Sentencing Factors are individually sub-totaled and then tallied together.
If the total number is less than 44 points, the calculation stops and the person is eligible for probation or community control.
If the total number is greater than 44 points, then a special sentencing formula is applied to calculate the lowest allowable prison sentence. This is done by subtracting 28 from the total points and then reducing that number by 25%:
(Total Points - 28) x 0.75 = Lowest Permissible Prison Sentence (In Months)
Contact Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer Mary Elizabeth Fletcher
Contact criminal defense attorney Mary Elizabeth Fletcher if you have been charged with a felony offense in Florida. The initial consultation is free and the Law OFfices of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher are always available to advise you on the proper course of action to take. Simply contact us online or give us a call at (239) 677-7685.