Florida’s 10-20-Life Law
Florida has always been very tough on gun laws but more recently the Florida Legislature passed Florida Statute 775.087, the so called 10-20-Life Law. Law enforcement takes a zero tolerance approach for anyone who uses a firearm in the commission of a crime. To accomplish this, the 10-20-Life Law requires mandatory prison sentences for armed offenders.
Just by pulling or improperly “brandishing” a gun during a crime, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years is imposed. For certain felony crimes or attempted felonies, the 10 year mandatory sentence is authorized if the criminal possessed a gun or other destructive device. If you shoot or discharge the gun during a crime the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years. For injuring or killing a victim by firing the gun during a crime, a mandatory minimum sentence from 25 years to life in prison is authorized. It has always been a felony crime in Florida for felons to possess guns, even if they are not committing any other crime. Recognizing that felons who possess guns, despite this violation of law, may intend to commit other serious crimes using guns, the 10-20-Life legislation provided for a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years for such known felons who possess a gun. This provision alone has affected many felons sentenced to prison in Florida.MANDATORY MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCES BEFORE JULY 1, 2016
Felons in possession of a firearm - 3 years
Pulling or brandishing a gun during commission of a crime - 10 years
Firing the weapon during commission of a crime - 20 years
Firing and injuring or killing a person during Commission of a crime - 25 years to Life
As noted, this is for offenses committed before July 1, 2016. The law has since changed for ONE of these charges and that is Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. While it once held a mandatory minimum, organizations such as FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) have been able to convince the legislature to get rid of this often disproportionate sentence. Now, if one is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, the judge has discretion to go below any mandatory minimums.