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Mandatory Minimum Sentences Introduction

 Minimum mandatories are a very complex aspect of sentencing for both FL and Federal courts. In a nutshell, minimum mandatories are the minimum amount of time a defendant can be sentenced by the judge. The Judge must give this sentence in both federal and state court, they have no discretion on whether what sentence they can give. Judges do have discretion when it comes too whether the sentence should be stacked or be consecutive. For example, in FL when there are two drug trafficking changes one for cocaine the other for heroin, the judge has discretion on whether to stack these sentences which means to add double the minimum mandatory sentences. So, the cocaine charge has a min man of 10 years and the heroin has a charge of 10 years also, the judge can determine to give the defendant 20 years or only 10 years. This requirement of minimum mandatories takes away a lot of the discretion from judges, which has led the massive overpopulation of prisons in both state and federal courts.  

In FL, there are only 4 statutes that deal with all the minimum mandatory sentencing. Fla. Stat. § 893.135 deals with all trafficking drugs and drug charges. This statute breaks drug crimes down by the quantity and then gives the min man. This is the main statute for min mans in Florida it covers all drug charges. Fla. Stat. § 775.087 is the next min man statute this one deals with a possession of a firearm and the min man associated with this. The other two statutes deal with offenders with multiple charges for certain crimes, and min mans for individuals who just go out of jail. All these min mans can be as little as 5 years or life.

Federal Min mans are a whole other animal. In federal court, there are over 50 different statutes that deal with many different offenses from bank robbery to drug charges to murder, all of which give different drug charges. In my research guide I have each of these statutes listed with their appropriate link for all the different type of Mandatory minimums. 

Are mandatory minimum sentences an injustice?

Mandatory Minimum Sentences



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