The 10-20-Life Law

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In 1999, Governor Bush signed into law the 10-20-LIFE bill. The law requires a minimum 10-year sentence for crimes committed with a gun, a 20-year sentence for firing the gun during the commission of a crime, and 25 years to life if the bullet fired caused death or injury. The legislation enacted to implement the Governor's proposal provided mandatory sentences for felons convicted of crimes in which they used a gun.

Since 1972, LeavenLaw has protected the rights of those facing difficult legal situations. We are proud to uphold a tradition of excellence and have established a track record of success for our clients. Our St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer team is backed by decades of experience and has extensive resources to handle a wide variety of cases.

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Prison Sentence

The bill signed in 1999 imposes harsh penalties on those who possess or use a gun in conjunction with a crime.

The following provisions [Section 775.087 (2)-(4), Florida Statutes] became effective for crimes committed on or after July 1, 1999:

  • For pulling 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 destructive device).
  • For firing 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.

For many years, it has been a felony crime in Florida for felons to possess guns. 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. The legislation also increased to a 15-year minimum prison term when the offender possesses a semiautomatic firearm and its high-capacity detachable box magazine or a machine gun.

To find out more information about your case, contact LeavenLaw today!