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The Florida Senate

CS/SB 1656 — Criminal Statutes

by Criminal Justice Committee and Senators Lee and Rouson

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Judiciary Committee (JU)

This bill creates a savings statute for criminal laws which provides that, unless expressly intended by the Legislature, an amendment, reenactment, or revision of a criminal statute does not affect or abate:

  • The prior operation of the statute or a prosecution or enforcement under the statute;
  • A violation of the statute based on any act or omission occurring before the effective date of the act; or
  • A prior penalty, forfeiture, or punishment incurred or imposed under the statute.

However, the bill also provides that a reenactment or amendment of a criminal statute which reduces a penalty, forfeiture, or punishment must be applied retroactively in a case in which a penalty, forfeiture, or punishment has not been imposed.

Finally, the bill provides that new defenses will be available to a defendant through the appellate process unless the defendant’s conviction was affirmed before the new defense took effect.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.

Vote: Senate 38-1; House 110-4