People convicted as juveniles and sentenced to more than twenty years in prison are entitled to a sentence review after they have been imprisoned for twenty years. The sentencing court is not required to orally advise the defendant of such rights or set forth information regarding the right to review in the sentencing order, however. As such, the failure to do so will not constitute an error, as explained in a recent Florida opinion issued in a matter in which the defendant appealed his conviction. If you are charged with a crime, it is in your best interest to talk to a Tampa criminal defense attorney about what steps you can take to protect your rights.
It is reported that when the defendant was 16 years old, he was charged with multiple crimes after he allegedly attacked his foster mother. He was convicted on all counts. Prior to sentencing, he sought a downward sentence due to the fact that he needed specialized treatment for a medical condition. The state opposed the imposition of a departure sentence on the grounds that the defendant had a lengthy criminal past and his criminal conduct was escalating.
Allegedly, the court rejected the defendant’s request for a downward departure and sentenced him to a total of 35 years imprisonment. It did not mention the right to a sentence review or set forth anything about such rights in the written sentence. The defendant moved to correct a sentencing error, arguing that because he was a juvenile at the time of his conviction, he was entitled to judicial review after he completed twenty years of his sentence. His motion was deemed denied, and he appealed. Continue Reading ›