WHAT IS A SCORESHEET?
Felony cases are handled in Florida Criminal Circuit Courts. In all cases, a scoresheet is created by the prosecutor. The scoresheet is the way that the court determines the sentencing range for all felony criminal cases. The score sheet is controlled and codified under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code, but is better known as “The Scoresheet.”
All charges are assigned an offense level with a corresponding point value. The highest level offense that the accused is charged with is called the primary offense. If there are additional charges, they are referred to as additional offenses. The prosecutor then applies the point value for the prior offenses that a person might have on their record. (There are other aspects of the scoresheet that are not being discussed in this artice. For a more detailed discussion, please feel free to contact David J. Sobel to discuss your specific issue.) The prosecutor then fills out the scoresheet with the appropriate point value for each offense.
Without going into the finite details of the scoresheet, the point value for a person's crimes are added together and if the number equals more than 44 points, the person is facing mandatory prison time (commonly referred to as scoring prison). The total number is then put into a mathematical equation to determine the lowest permissible sentence by guideline. 28 is subtracted by the total number and then multiplied by .75. The resulting figure is the defendant’s lowest permissible sentence by guideline.
If the accused does not score prison then they are eligible to be sentenced anywhere from probation up to the maximum sentence permissible by law for the felony offense.
If the person scores prison, then the point total is put into a mathematical calculation which determines their lowest permissible sentence allowed by law. This number is calculated in months. The accused is then able to be sentenced to any sentence between the lowest permissible sentence by guideline and the maximum sentence permissible by law for that specific felony.
An example of this is where a defendant is accused of the crime of Robbery. Robbery is a second degree felony and a level 6 offense. If the defendant does not have any other pending charges and no prior criminal history then he would have a score of 36 points. Since the 36 points is less than 44, his sentencing guidelines would be anywhere from probation up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.
Another example would be burglary of an occupied dwelling. Burglary of an occupied dwelling is a second degree felony and a level 7 offense. If the defendant does not have any other pending charges and no prior criminal history then he would have a score of 56 points. Since the 56 points is more than 44, the defendant point total is put into the Florida Criminal Punishment Code’s mathematical equation to determine the lowest permissible sentence by guidelines.
56 – 28 X .75= 21.0 months in Florida State Prison. In this example the defendant is facing a sentence between 21.0 months up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.
This is a very basic look at the Florida Scoresheet. For more information or information about the various different ways to obtain a sentence below the guideline range, contact attorney David J. Sobel for a free consultation.