Are you facing a mandatory minimum sentence in the Clearwater, Florida area? Despite being created to make criminal charges more uniform across the legal system, a mandatory minimum sentence is often complicated, and doesn’t take into account the circumstances of the crime.
In this brief article, the law offices of Russo, Pelletier, & Sullivan in Clearwater explore what mandatory minimum sentences are and how consulting with a criminal defense attorney can help your situation.
For starters, the state of Florida defines a mandatory minimum sentence as follows: “A mandatory minimum sentence is a legislated amount of minimum time that must be served in jail or prison for some crimes. These mandated lengths of time can be applied to many different charges.”
After reading the above, you may be wondering, “If my sentence is mandated and pre-determined with no discretion on the part of the judge, how can a criminal defense attorney help in my case?”
The answer comes down to two very important reasons that seeking professional help in these situations is always beneficial – experience and options.
Our Attorneys Have More Than 30 Years of Combined Experience
When it comes to mandatory minimum sentences, the laws are complex and nuanced. Our criminal defense team at the law offices of Russo, Pelletier, & Sullivan has a combined experience of more than 30 years. In addition, each of our attorneys has previous experience working as a prosecutor in the state of Florida, and thus have knowledge about how the system works from both sides of the courtroom. Our team will be able to provide valuable insights into your rights as a client, along with specialized knowledge about how the legal system works.
We Are Able to Assess All Available Options
There are a number of ways that a mandatory sentence may be avoided. However, each case is different, and an examination of the factual and legal issues is critical to determining which options are available and the most appropriate method for proceeding. Some examples of possible options for avoiding a mandatory sentence include:
- Plea bargain negotiations with the State Attorney’s Office
- Amendment of the charge to a different offense that does not trigger a mandatory sentence
- Intervention prior to the filing of the charge that may result in a lesser offense being filed or even no charges being filed at all
- Litigation of a legal issue that may result in the exclusion of evidence or a dismissal of the charge
- Pursuing a Not Guilty verdict at trial
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.