Florida Sentencing Laws

Over the years, Florida has enacted several sentencing guideline systems:

  • The current guidelines:  known as the “Criminal Punishment Code,” created in 1998.  For offenses committed before October 1, 1998, the previous guideline systems still apply.  But for all offenses committed after October 1, 1998, the Criminal Punishment Code is the only set of guidelines that applies.  These guidelines are mandatory, with departures permitted for limited reasons. The Code is codified at F.S. §§ 921.002-921.0027, and the sentencing worksheets and manual are available here. 
  • The 1995 Sentencing Guidelines:  apply to all non-capital offenses committed between May 25, 1997, and September 30, 1998.
  • The 1994 Sentencing Guidelines:  apply to all non-capital felony offenses committed on or after January 1, 1994, and before October 1, 1995; eliminated basic gain time, committing Florida to a “truth in sentencing” approach.
  • The 1983 Sentencing Guidelines:  apply to all non-capital felony offenses committed on or after October 1, 1983, and before January 1, 1994; abolished parole for almost all offenses committed after October 1, 1983.

Florida’s Mandatory Minimum Laws

Florida Safety Valves

Florida’s Mandatory Minimum Drug Laws: Ineffective, Expensive, and Counterproductive

Florida Drug Court Availability and Eligibility