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Lawmakers Pushing Criminal Justice Reform – Hernando County Criminal Lawyer Marion County Criminal Lawyers

The Florida criminal justice system is broken and Florida lawmakers have been searching for a way to help reduce mass incarceration in this state. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have come together as part of a coalition to put forward a couple of bipartisan ideas to help fix the system. One of the proposals would increase the threshold for felony grand theft from three hundred dollars ($300.00) to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00). This would be a significant change and would seem to align much more closely with the meaning of what legislature originally intended for grand theft. Although at one time, $300.00 indicated a significant amount of money requiring a grand theft designation, the statute has failed to keep up with inflation and has become severely outdated.

The other significant point of agreement being pushed by the bipartisan lawmakers is the opportunity for judges to depart from minimum mandatory sentences, particularly in drug cases. Minimum mandatory sentences were imposed during a time of “tough on crime” legislation that sought to dissuade potential criminals from committing criminal acts and to ensure uniform sentencing across the state. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that these minimum mandatory sentences are working. Instead, what they really appear to do is take people who have made mistakes and give them long sentences that turn them into hardened criminals. This is particularly true in drug cases, where the best option for society may be rehabilitation, not a lengthy sentence.

With the legislative session not far off on the horizon, it is hopeful that these proposed measures gather steam and find there way into law. If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, call Cagan & Cagan today for a free consultation at (352) 683-9100. We are the Hernando County Criminal Lawyer and Marion County Criminal Lawyers.

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