Client Facing Florida's 10-20-Life Law

In a recent case, our client was charged with aggravated assault, shooting at an occupied vehicle, and domestic violence battery. It was alleged that our client was in an argument with his girlfriend, that he followed her vehicle, and that he struck her vehicle numerous times with his own. The victim then claimed that our client shot at her vehicle numerous times with a shotgun as she was driving away from her home.

Our client was arrested and held on $50,000 bond. We set a bond motion on the case and were successful in having our client released on a home monitor; our client did not post any bond. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, we immediately contacted the State Attorney's Office so we could discuss the charges. Florida's 10-20-Life Law made it so that our client was potentially facing a mandatory 20 year prison sentence because of the allegation that a firearm was discharged during the commission of the offense.

After extensive negations with the Office of the State Attorney—and after we provided them information about our clients lack of any criminal record—the State agreed not to charge our client under the 10-20-Life law. Our client was then not facing a mandatory 20 year sentence; instead, he was facing the recommended prison sentence of 20 months under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code. Our office requested and reviewed all discovery in the case and interviewed the witnesses and victim in the case.

After this discovery process, we convinced the State Attorney that our client was an appropriate candidate for probation. The State agreed to a term of probation with no prison time. We were also successful in obtaining a withhold of adjudication on all charges so that our client was not convicted as a felon.