A closeup of view of a jail cells iron bars casting shadows on the prison floor with copy spaceIn June 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a comprehensive criminal justice bill into law. Officially becoming law on October 1, 2019, the law reforms many Florida Statutes dealing with the State’s criminal justice system.

We’ll discuss many of the criminal justice changes impacted by the law below.

If you’re curious about how the criminal justice reforms could potentially impact a criminal charge you’re involved in, we’ll be happy to provide a free consultation. Give us a call at (904) 567-3113.

Below we highlight some of the significant reforms to the Florida criminal justice system.

How Does the 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law Reform Felony Theft Charges?

The 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law increases the threshold for felony theft charges from $300 to $750. This means that people accused of taking an item valued below $750 will be charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony. People taking items valued at $750 or more could be charged with a third-degree felony, which may carry a prison sentence up to 5 years and a fine up to $5,000.

How Does the 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law Reform the Theft Crime Aggregation Period?

The 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law extends the theft crime aggregation period from 2 days to 30 days. This means that items stolen within 30 days will be totaled into a single criminal charge. For example, if a person is accused of taking an item valued at $400 one day, then another item valued at $350 within 30 days, the total sum would be $750.

How Does the 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law Reform Impact Suspended Driver License Offenses?

The 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law eliminates the third-degree felony charge for driving with a suspended license except in certain cases such as DUI. Additionally, under the law, courts can no longer suspend a driver’s license for theft conviction for people age 18 and older. Suspensions for drug convictions were reduced from one year to six months.

How Does the 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law Reform Diminish Penalties for Hydrocodone Trafficking?

The 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law increases the mandatory 3-year prison sentence penalty threshold for hydrocodone trafficking from 14 grams (approximately 7 pills) to 28 grams. While the penalty threshold has been increased, it’s important to understand that any sale of a controlled substance can result in a prison sentence.

How Does the 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law Reform Impact Juvenile Offenders?

The 2019 Florida Criminal Justice Law provides reforms that benefit accused juvenile offenders. The new law eliminates mandatory transfer provisions where juvenile criminal cases can be transferred to adult courts for prosecution. Additionally, under the new law, individuals over the age of 21 accused of a crime committed before the age of 21 may be sentenced as youthful offender.

Our Criminal Defense Team is Here to Help

Criminal Defense Attorneys at Fusco Law Group can provide the legal help you need to protect your rights.

We’re always available with a free consultation to answer your criminal defense questions. Give our office a call at (904) 567-3113.