In a recent case, our client was alleged to have pointed a firearm at another man during an argument and then to have fired the weapon into the ground. Our client was facing a mandatory minimum sentence under Florida's 10-20-Life law of at least 3 years in Florida State Prison and the possibility of a minimum of 20 years if the State could prove discharge of the firearm during the offense.
After we were retained, we set depositions of all of the witnesses in the case. During those depositions, we were able to elicit testimony from witnesses that conflicted with their prior statements to the law enforcement officers who investigated the case. The alleged victim in the case also failed to appear at our deposition and he refused to appear at any further depositions.
Because of the testimony of the witnesses who did appear and the failure of the victim to appear, the State Attorney agreed to drop the felony charge. The case was reduced to two misdemeanor charges and our client received only one year of probation on two misdemeanor charges.
If you are facing a mandatory prison sentence it is imperative that you hire an attorney who is experienced in defending cases involving mandatory sentences. Florida's discovery process allows an experienced criminal attorney to conduct depositions of all witness in a criminal case; through this process, information can be discovered that may cause the State to decide not to seek the mandatory sentence. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us today.