Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 424
       By Senator Bracy
       11-00575-20                                            2020424__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to criminal sentencing; amending s.
    3         775.082, F.S.; increasing the number of sentence
    4         points below which the court is required to impose a
    5         nonstate prison sanction under certain circumstances;
    6         amending s. 921.002, F.S.; providing that a sentencing
    7         judge’s decision regarding sentencing is guided by the
    8         computed recommended sentencing range, from the lowest
    9         permissible sentence to the highest recommended prison
   10         sentence; requiring a trial court judge to explain
   11         departures above the highest recommended prison
   12         sentence established by the Criminal Punishment Code
   13         and to specify his or her reasons for imposing the
   14         higher sentence; deleting a limitation on sentence
   15         appeals to cases in which the sentence imposed is
   16         lower than the lowest permissible sentence or sentence
   17         appeals under other specified circumstances; amending
   18         s. 921.0024, F.S.; increasing the minimum number of
   19         sentence points for a state prison sanction; revising
   20         the calculation of the lowest permissible sentence;
   21         requiring a calculation of the highest recommended
   22         prison sentence; providing a recommended range for
   23         sentencing; providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Subsection (10) of section 775.082, Florida
   28  Statutes, is amended to read:
   29         775.082 Penalties; applicability of sentencing structures;
   30  mandatory minimum sentences for certain reoffenders previously
   31  released from prison.—
   32         (10) If a defendant is sentenced for an offense committed
   33  on or after July 1, 2009, which is a third degree felony but not
   34  a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, and excluding any
   35  third degree felony violation under chapter 810, and if the
   36  total sentence points pursuant to s. 921.0024 are 44 22 points
   37  or fewer, the court must sentence the offender to a nonstate
   38  prison sanction. However, if the court makes written findings
   39  that a nonstate prison sanction could present a danger to the
   40  public, the court may sentence the offender to a state
   41  correctional facility pursuant to this section.
   42         Section 2.  Present paragraph (i) of subsection (1) of
   43  section 921.002, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as paragraph
   44  (j), a new paragraph (h) is added to that subsection, and
   45  present paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of that subsection are
   46  amended, to read:
   47         921.002 The Criminal Punishment Code.—The Criminal
   48  Punishment Code shall apply to all felony offenses, except
   49  capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998.
   50         (1) The provision of criminal penalties and of limitations
   51  upon the application of such penalties is a matter of
   52  predominantly substantive law and, as such, is a matter properly
   53  addressed by the Legislature. The Legislature, in the exercise
   54  of its authority and responsibility to establish sentencing
   55  criteria, to provide for the imposition of criminal penalties,
   56  and to make the best use of state prisons so that violent
   57  criminal offenders are appropriately incarcerated, has
   58  determined that it is in the best interest of the state to
   59  develop, implement, and revise a sentencing policy. The Criminal
   60  Punishment Code embodies the principles that:
   61         (f) The sentence imposed by the sentencing judge is guided
   62  by the computed recommended sentencing range, which is from the
   63  lowest permissible sentence to the highest recommended prison
   64  sentence, under the code.
   65         (g) Departures below the lowest permissible sentence
   66  established by the code must be articulated in writing by the
   67  trial court judge and made only when circumstances or factors
   68  reasonably justify the mitigation of the sentence. The level of
   69  proof necessary to establish facts that support a departure from
   70  the lowest permissible sentence is a preponderance of the
   71  evidence.
   72         (h)Departures above the highest recommended prison
   73  sentence established by the code must be explained by the trial
   74  court judge on the record at the time of the sentencing. The
   75  trial court judge’s explanation must specify his or her reasons
   76  for imposing the higher sentence.
   77         (i)(g) The trial court judge may impose a sentence up to
   78  and including the statutory maximum for any offense, including
   79  an offense that is before the court due to a violation of
   80  probation or community control.
   81         (h)A sentence may be appealed on the basis that it departs
   82  from the Criminal Punishment Code only if the sentence is below
   83  the lowest permissible sentence or as enumerated in s.
   84  924.06(1).
   85         Section 3. Subsection (2) of section 921.0024, Florida
   86  Statutes, is amended to read:
   87         921.0024 Criminal Punishment Code; worksheet computations;
   88  scoresheets.—
   89         (2) The lowest permissible sentence is the minimum sentence
   90  that may be imposed by the trial court, absent a valid reason
   91  for departure. The lowest permissible sentence is any nonstate
   92  prison sanction in which the total sentence points equal or are
   93  equals or is less than 52 44 points, unless the court determines
   94  within its discretion that a prison sentence, which may be up to
   95  the statutory maximums for the offenses committed, is
   96  appropriate. When the total sentence points exceed 52 exceeds 44
   97  points, the lowest permissible sentence in prison months is
   98  shall be calculated by subtracting 36 28 points from the total
   99  sentence points and decreasing the remaining total by 25
  100  percent. When the total sentence points exceed 52 points, the
  101  highest recommended prison sentence in prison months is
  102  calculated by subtracting 36 points from the total sentence
  103  points and increasing the remaining total by 25 percent. The
  104  total sentence points are shall be calculated only as a means of
  105  determining the recommended sentencing range, which is from the
  106  lowest permissible sentence to the highest recommended prison
  107  sentence. The permissible range for sentencing is shall be the
  108  lowest permissible sentence up to and including the statutory
  109  maximum, as defined in s. 775.082, for the primary offense and
  110  any additional offenses before the court for sentencing. The
  111  sentencing court may impose such sentences concurrently or
  112  consecutively. However, any sentence to state prison must exceed
  113  1 year. If the lowest permissible sentence under the code
  114  exceeds the statutory maximum sentence as provided in s.
  115  775.082, the sentence required by the code must be imposed. If
  116  the total sentence points are greater than or equal to 363, the
  117  court may sentence the offender to life imprisonment. An
  118  offender sentenced to life imprisonment under this section is
  119  not eligible for any form of discretionary early release, except
  120  executive clemency or conditional medical release under s.
  121  947.149.
  122         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.