Tampa Three Strikes Lawyers
Facing a "Strike" on Your Florida Criminal Record? We Can Help.
Three Strikes Law is a term that refers to having three criminal convictions on one's record. These criminal convictions can be a mix of misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the situation. Regardless of the classification, once a person receives a third “strike,” they could be staring down automatic, harsh sentencing, even life in prison. The Three Strikes Law is both a state and federal sentencing guideline that judges must adhere to.
This law applies to individuals in the following categories:
- Violent career criminals
- Habitual felony offenders
- Habitual violent felony offenders
- Three-time violent felony offenders
If you already have one or two strikes on your record, you are in a dangerous situation if you're arrested again. You must act quickly and involve an attorney who has the resources and knowledge to defend your rights. Having a strike on your record does not mean that you are guilty of a new crime, despite what law enforcement and prosecutors might believe. You deserve legal counsel, and our Tampa defense lawyers can help.
Call (813) 321-7323now to speak with a legal professional, or continue reading to learn more about Florida's Three Strikes Law and how it may impact your case.
Florida's Three Strikes Law for Violent Offenders
Enacted in July of 1999, the Three Strikes Law in Florida was created to target defendants deemed "career criminals." While there are many different facets of Florida's Three Strikes Law, one of the most prominent is the section that deals with repeat violent offenders, also known as habitual offenders.
To be punished under this section of the law, there are five different elements:
- The defendant had two previous convictions for violent felonies.
- These two convictions occurred on separate occasions.
- The defendant is currently facing charges for a violent felony.
- The current charge occurred either:
- While serving a sentence for the previous convictions;
- Within five years of the previous conviction; or
- Within five years of finishing sentencing.
- The defendant had not received any pardon.
If the above elements are proven, the defendant may face the minimum penalties of the Three Strikes Law, including life in prison (if the current charge is for a life felony.) Each state has its own implementation of Three Strikes Laws. Florida takes an aggressive stance against repeat offenders.
The following penalties may apply under Florida's Three Strikes Law:
- First-Degree Felony: 30 years of imprisonment
- Second-Degree Felony: 15 years of imprisonment
- Third-Degree Felony: 5 years of imprisonment
To reiterate, Florida’s “three strikes law” only applies to violent felonies. We’re talking about arson, sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated battery, manslaughter, and murder—those types of crimes. For a judge to apply the habitual offender law, all three of the offenses must be separate violent felonies that occurred within a five-year timespan. Plus, the accused must have been convicted of the crime, not just arrested.
Contact Our Tampa Three Strike Crime Defense Attorneys
Your entire future is on the line if you are facing a third strike. Fortunately, you have the right to legal counsel. When a person's freedom is at stake, the attorney representing that person must devote themselves entirely to the case. That is precisely what Thomas & Paulk does. We've represented clients in Tampa and across Florida for 20 years. We know the courts, we know the law, and we know how to defend our clients' rights.
They may be meant to discourage repeat offenders, but many believe that Three Strikes Laws are too harsh. If you already have one or more “strikes” on your record and want to make sure you don't face unnecessarily severe penalties, put a powerful team in your corner.
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