10/20/life new opinion by the Second DCA

10/20/Life penalties in the state of Florida typically deals with enhanced sentencing for people using firearms during the commission of a crime.

In general:

Under the “10-20-life” law, courts must impose a:

1. 10-year prison sentence on anyone convicted of committing or attempting to commit specific* felonies (with certain exceptions), while armed with a firearm or destructive device;

2. 20-year prison term if the accused fired the firearm; and

3. 25-year to life term if the accused discharged the firearm and killed or seriously hurt someone.

However the appellate court (Second District Court of Appeal) recently reversed a lower court who sentenced imposing enhanced minimum penalties. The decision was rendered March 27, 2019, in  Agenor v. State, Case No. 2D17-3759. The reason: 

The State Attorney’s Office must state facts supporting the enhancement in the charging document. It held

[t]o pursue an enhanced mandatory minimum sentence under the 10/20/life statute, “the [S]tate must
allege the grounds for enhancement in the charging document, and the jury must make
factual findings regarding those grounds.” Bienaime v. State, 213 So. 3d 927, 929 (Fla.
4th DCA 2017) (citing Lane v. State, 996 So. 2d 226, 227 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008)). A ten year mandatory minimum sentence under that statute, therefore, requires that the State plead and prove beyond a reasonable doubt—or, in the case of a guilty or nolo
contendere plea, that the defendant stipulate—that the defendant actually possessed a
” ‘firearm’ or ‘destructive device.’ ” § 775.087(2)(a)(1); see Murray v. State, 133 So. 3d
557, 558 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014) (“In the context of plea deals, ‘the State is free to seek
judicial sentence enhancements so long as the defendant either stipulates to the
relevant facts or consents to judicial factfinding.’ ” (quoting Blakely v. Washington, 542
U.S. 296, 310 (2004))). emphasis added

  • not all felonies allow a person to be sentenced pursuant to 10/20/Life

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