What Is Florida’s 10/20/Life Statute?

What Is Florida’s 10/20/Life Statute?

Jacqueline Crowley, a partner in the law practice of Farkas & Crowley of West Palm Beach, Florida, explains Florida’s concept of 10/20/Life statute, addressing the inclusion of a firearm during the commission of a felony. 

Both attorneys, Adam Farkas and Jacqueline Crowley have experience and strong legal backgrounds. Together they serve their clients, and as Jacqueline says, you are getting two lawyers for the price of one.

Video Transcript:

Florida’s 10/20/Life statute deals with when guns and firearms are possessed or used during the commission of felonies. I think there’s a misnomer that 10/20/Life had something to do with priors, and if you commit one crime, it’s 10. If you commit 2, it’s 20 and such and such. That’s not what it means in Florida. I believe, in California, there may be something similar to that, and that’s where the confusion has come from. In Florida, it has nothing to do with your prior criminal history. It has nothing to do whether you are a felon.

What it means is the 10/20/Life is 10 is for possession of a firearm during the commission, meaning that if you just possessed a firearm, never used it, never have to pull it out. It was found to be on you or in close enough proximity that it’s deemed possessed during a felony, meaning you go into a home and attempt to steal a PlayStation, of video games, or something like that from – this happens with, unfortunately, younger defendants not realizing how serious these crimes are. They have a firearm in their backpack or in their waistband, don’t display that firearm, don’t even make contact with the person in the home, but they’re found to have committed this burglary. No one’s in the house, but they had a gun on them, go out and take it. They are facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years based on that possession of a firearm while committing that crime.

The 20 years of the 10/20/Life statute deals with if that firearm is discharged during the commission of a crime, so it could be for something like a – not intended to shoot at somebody but a warning shot or the firearm goes off. If the firearm is discharged during the commission of any crime, you’re looking at a mandatory minimum of 20 years. The life is really a 25 to life, and that is if you shoot somebody. If there is contact made, an injury, you’re looking at a mandatory minimum of 25 to life.

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