3.703. Sentencing Guidelines (1994 as amended)
(a) Use. This rule is to be used in conjunction with
the forms located at rule 3.991. This rule implements
the 1994 sentencing guidelines, as amended, in strict
accordance with chapter 921, Florida Statutes. This
rule applies to offenses committed
on or after October
1, 1995, or as otherwise indicated.
(b) Purpose and Construction. The purpose of
the 1994 sentencing guidelines and the principles they
embody are set out in subsection 921.001(4). Existing
caselaw construing the application of sentencing
guidelines that is in conflict with the provisions of
this rule or the statement of purpose or the principles
embodied by the 1994 sentencing guidelines set out in
subsection 921.001(4) is superseded by the operation
of this rule.
(c) Offense Severity Ranking.
(1) Felony offenses subject to the 1994 sentencing
guidelines, as amended, are listed in a single offense
severity ranking chart located at section 921.0012.
The offense severity ranking chart employs 10 offense
levels, ranked from least severe to most severe. Each
felony offense is assigned to a level according to the
severity of the offense, commensurate with the harm
or potential for harm to the community that is caused
by the offense. The numerical statutory reference in
the left column of the chart and the felony degree designations
in the middle column of the chart determine
whether felony offenses are specifically listed in the
offense severity ranking chart and the appropriate
severity level. The language in the right column is
(2) Felony offenses not listed in section 921.0012
are to be assigned a severity level in accordance with
section 921.0013, as follows:
(A) A felony of the third degree within offense
(B) A felony of the second degree within offense
(C) A felony of the first degree within offense
(D) A felony of the first degree punishable by
life within offense level 9.
(E) A life felony within offense level 10.
An offense does not become unlisted and subject to
the provisions of section 921.0013, because of a reclassification
of the degree of felony pursuant to section
775.0845, section 775.087, section 775.0875 or section
(d) General Rules and Definitions.
(1) One or more sentencing guidelines scoresheets
shall be prepared for each offender covering
all offenses pending before the court for sentencing,
including offenses for which the offender has been
adjudicated an habitual felony offender, an habitual
violent felony offender or violent career criminal. The
office of the state attorney or the Department of Corrections,
or both where appropriate, will prepare the
scoresheets and present them to defense counsel for
review as to accuracy. The Department of Corrections
shall prepare sentencing guidelines scoresheets if the
offender is alleged to have violated probation or community
control and revocation is recommended.
(2) One scoresheet shall be prepared for all
offenses committed under any single version or revision
of the guidelines, pending before the court for
(3) If an offender is before the court for sentencing
for more than one felony and the felonies were committed
under more than one version or revision of the
guidelines, separate scoresheets must be prepared and
used at sentencing.
The sentencing court may impose
such sentence concurrently or consecutively.
(4) The sentencing judge shall review the scoresheet
for accuracy and sign it.
(5) Felonies, except capital felonies, with continuing
dates of enterprise are to be sentenced under
the guidelines in effect on the beginning date of the
(6) “Conviction” means a determination of guilt
resulting from plea or trial, regardless of whether
adjudication was withheld or whether imposition of
sentence was suspended.
(7) “Primary offense” is the offense pending for
sentencing that results in the highest number of total
sentence points. Only one offense may be scored as
the primary offense.
(8) “Additional offense” is any offense, other than
the primary offense, pending before the court for sentencing.
Sentence points for additional offenses are
determined by the severity level and the number of
offenses at a particular severity level. Misdemeanors
are scored at level “M” regardless of degree.
(9) “Victim injury” is scored for physical injury or
death suffered by a person as a direct result of any offense
pending before the court for sentencing. Except as otherwise
provided by law, the sexual penetration
contact points will be scored as follows. Sexual penetration
points are scored if an offense pending before the
court for sentencing involves sexual penetration. Sexual
contact points are scored if an offense pending before
the court for sentencing involves sexual contact, but no
penetration. If the victim of an offense involving sexual
or sexual contact without penetration suffers
any physical injury as a direct result of an offense pending
before the court for sentencing, that physical injury
is to be scored in addition to any points scored for the
sexual contact or sexual penetration.
Victim injury shall be scored for each victim physically
injured and for each offense resulting in physical
injury whether there are one or more victims. However,
victim injury shall not be scored for an offense
for which the offender has not been convicted.
Victim injury resultant from one or more capital
felonies before the court for sentencing is not to be
included upon any scoresheet prepared for non-capital
felonies also pending before the court for sentencing.
This in no way prohibits the scoring of victim injury
as a result from the non-capital felonies before the
court for sentencing.
(10) Unless specifically provided otherwise by
statute, attempts, conspiracies, and solicitations are
indicated in the space provided on the guidelines
scoresheet and are scored at one severity level below
the completed offense.
Attempts, solicitations, and conspiracies of thirddegree
felonies located in offense severity levels 1 and
2 are to be scored as misdemeanors. Attempts, solicitations,
and conspiracies of third-degree felonies located
in offense severity levels 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are
to be scored as felonies one offense level beneath the
incomplete or inchoate offense.
(11) An increase in offense severity level may
result from a reclassification of felony degrees pursuant
to sections 775.0845, 775.087, 775.0875, or 794.023.
Any such increase should be indicated in the space
provided on the sentencing guidelines scoresheet.
(12) A single assessment of thirty prior serious
felony points is added if the offender has a primary
offense or any additional offense ranked in level 8, 9,
or 10 and one or more prior serious felonies. A “prior
serious felony” is an offense in the offender’s
record ranked in level 8, 9, or 10 and for which the
offender is serving a sentence of confinement,
or other sanction or for which the offender’s
date of release from confinement,
sanction, whichever is later is within 3 years before
the date the primary offense or any additional offenses
were committed. Out of state convictions wherein the
analogous or parallel Florida offenses are located in
offense severity level 8, 9, or 10 are to be considered
prior serious felonies.
(13) If the offender has one or more prior capital
felonies, points shall be added to the subtotal sentence
points of the offender equal to twice the number of
points the offender receives for the primary offense
and any additional offense. Out-of-state convictions
wherein the analogous or parallel Florida offenses are
capital offenses are to be considered capital offenses
for purposes of operation of this section.
(14) “Total offense score” is the sum of the sentence
points for primary offense, any additional offenses and
(15) “Prior record” refers to any conviction for
an offense committed by the offender prior to the
commission of the primary offense, excluding any
additional offenses pending before the court for sentencing.
Prior record shall include convictions for
offenses committed by the offender as an adult or as
a juvenile, convictions by federal, out-of-state, military,
or foreign courts and convictions for violations
of county or municipal ordinances that incorporate
by reference a penalty under state law. Federal, outof-
state, military, or foreign convictions
are scored at
the severity level at which the analogous or parallel
Florida crime is located.
(A) Convictions for offenses committed more
than 10 years prior to the date of the commission
the primary offense are not scored as prior record if
the offender has not been convicted of any other crime
for a period of 10 consecutive years from the most
recent date of release from confinement, supervision,
or other sanction, whichever
is later, to the date of the
commission of the primary offense.
(B) Juvenile dispositions of offenses committed
by the offender within 3 years prior to the date of the
commission of the primary offense are scored as prior
record if the offense would have been a crime if committed
by an adult. Juvenile dispositions
offenses committed by the offender more than 3 years
prior to the date of the primary offense are to be scored
as prior record if the offender has not maintained a
conviction-free record, either as an adult or as a juvenile,
for a period of 3 consecutive years from the most
recent date of release from confinement,
or sanction, whichever is later, to the date of commission
of the primary offense.
(C) Entries in criminal histories that show no
disposition, disposition unknown, arrest only, or a disposition
other than conviction are not scored. Criminal
history records expunged or sealed under section
943.058 or other provisions of law, including
sections 893.14 and 901.33, are scored as prior record
where the offender whose record has been expunged
or sealed is before the court for sentencing.
(D) Any uncertainty in the scoring of the
offender’s prior record shall be resolved in favor of the
offender and disagreement as to the propriety of scoring
specific entries in the prior record shall be resolved
by the sentencing judge.
(E) When unable to determine whether the
conviction to be scored as prior record is a felony or
a misdemeanor, the conviction should be scored as a
misdemeanor. When the degree of felony is ambiguous
or the severity level cannot be determined,
conviction should be scored at severity level 1.
(16) “Legal status points” are assessed when an
(A) Escapes from incarceration;
(B) Flees to avoid prosecution;
(C) Fails to appear for a criminal proceeding;
(D) Violates any condition of a supersedeas
(E) Is incarcerated;
(F) Is under any form of a pretrial intervention
or diversion program; or
(G) Is under any form of court-imposed or
post-prison release community supervision and commits
an offense that results in conviction. Legal status
violations receive a score of 4 sentence points and are
scored when the offense committed while under legal
status is before the court for sentencing. Points for
a legal status violation are to be assessed only once
regardless of the existence of more than one form of
legal status at the time an offense is committed or the
number of offenses committed while under any form
of legal status.
(17) Community sanction violation points occur
when the offender is found to have violated a condition
(B) Community Control; or
(C) Pretrial Intervention or diversion.
Community sanction violation points are assessed
when a community sanction violation is before the
court for sentencing. Six community sanction violation
points shall be assessed for each violation or if the violation
results from a new felony conviction,
sanction violation points shall be assessed.
Where there are multiple violations, points may be
assessed only for each successive violation that follows
a continuation of supervision,
revocation of the community sanction before the court
for sentencing and are not to be assessed for violation
of several conditions of a single community sanction.
Multiple counts of community sanction violations
before the sentencing court shall not be the basis for
multiplying the assessment of community sanction
(18) “Total prior record score” is the sum of all
sentence points for prior record.
(19) Possession of a firearm, semiautomatic firearm,
or a machine gun during the commission or
attempt to commit a crime will result in additional
sentence points. Eighteen sentence points are assessed
if the offender is convicted of committing or attempting
to commit any felony other than those enumerated
in subsection 775.087(2) while having in his
or her possession a firearm as defined in subsection
790.001(6). Twenty-five sentence points are assessed if
the offender is convicted of committing or attempting
to commit any felony other than those enumerated in
subsection 775.087(3) while having in his or her possession
a semiautomatic firearm as defined in subsection
775.087(3) or a machine gun as defined in subsection
790.001(9). Only one assessment
of either 18 or 25
points shall apply.
(20) “Subtotal sentence points” are the sum of the
total offense score, the total prior record score, any
legal status points, community sanction points, prior
serious felony points, prior capital felony points or
points for possession of a firearm or semiautomatic
(21) If the primary offense is drug trafficking
under section 893.135 ranked in offense severity level
7 or 8, the subtotal sentence points may be multiplied,
at the discretion of the sentencing court, by a factor of
(22) If the primary offense is a violation of the
Law Enforcement Protection Act under subsection
775.0823(2), the subtotal sentence points are multiplied
by a factor of 2.5. If the primary offense is a
violation of subsection 775.0823(3), (4), (5), (6), (7),
or (8) the subtotal sentence points are multiplied by
a factor of 2.0. If the primary offense is a violation of
the Law Enforcement Protection Act under subsection
775.0823(9) or (10) or section 784.07(3) or section
775.0875(1), the subtotal sentence points are multiplied
by a factor of 1.5.
(23) If the primary offense is grand theft of the
third degree of a motor vehicle and the offender’s prior
record includes three or more grand thefts of the third
degree of a motor vehicle, the subtotal sentence points
are multiplied by 1.5.
(24) If the offender is found to be a member of a
criminal street gang pursuant to section 874.04, at the
time of the commission of the primary offense, the
subtotal sentence points are multiplied by 1.5.
(25) If the primary offense is determined to be a
crime of domestic violence as defined in section 741.28
and to have been committed in the presence of a child
who is related by blood or marriage to the victim or
perpetrator and who is under the age of 16, the subtotal
sentence points are multiplied, at the discretion of the
court, by 1.5.
(26) “Total sentence points” are the subtotal sentence
points or the enhanced subtotal sentence points.
(27) “Presumptive sentence” is determined by the
total sentence points. A person sentenced for a felony
committed on or after July 1, 1997, who has at least
one prior felony conviction and whose recommended
sentence is any nonstate prison sanction
may be sentenced
to community control or a term of incarceration
not to exceed 22 months. A person sentenced for
a felony committed on or after July 1, 1997, who has at
least one prior felony conviction and whose minimum
is less than 22 months in state
prison may be sentenced to a term of incarceration not
to exceed 22 months.
In all other cases, if the total sentence points are
less than or equal to 40, the recommended sentence,
absent a departure, shall not be state prison. The court
may impose any nonstate prison sanction authorized
by law, including community control. However, the
court may increase sentence
than or equal to 40 by up to and including 15% to
arrive at total sentence points in excess of 40. If the
total sentence points are greater than 40 but less than
or equal to 52, the decision to sentence the defendant
to state prison or a nonstate prison sanction is left to
the discretion of the sentencing court. If the total sentence
points are greater than 52, the sentence, absent a
departure, must be to state prison.
A state prison sentence is calculated by deducting
28 points from the total sentence points where total
sentence points exceed 40. The resulting number represents
state prison months. State prison months may
be increased or decreased by up to and including 25%
at the discretion of the sentencing court. State prison
months may not be increased where the sentencing
court has exercised discretion to increase total sentence
points under 40 points to achieve a state prison
sentence. The sentence imposed must be entered on
If the total sentence points are equal to or greater
than 363, the court may sentence the offender to life
(28) If the recommended sentence under the sentencing
guidelines exceeds the maximum sentence
authorized for the pending felony offenses, the guidelines
sentence must be imposed, absent a departure.
Such downward departure must be equal to or less than
the maximum sentence authorized by section 775.082.
(29) For those offenses having a mandatory penalty,
a scoresheet should be completed and the guidelines
presumptive sentence calculated. If the presumptive
sentence is less than the mandatory penalty, the
mandatory sentence takes precedence. If the presumptive
sentence exceeds the mandatory sentence,
sentence should be imposed.
(30) Departure from the recommended guidelines
sentence provided by the total sentence points should
be avoided unless there are circumstances
that reasonably justify aggravating or mitigating
sentence. A state prison sentence that deviates from
prison sentence by more than 25%,
a state prison sentence where the total sentence points
are equal to or less than 40, or a sentence other than
state prison where the total sentence points are greater
than 52 must be accompanied by a written statement
delineating the reasons for departure. Circumstances or
factors that can be considered include, but are not limited
to, those listed in subsections 921.0016(3) and (4).
Reasons for departing from the recommended guidelines
shall not include circumstances or factors
relating to prior arrests without conviction or charged
offenses for which convictions have not been obtained.
(A) If a sentencing judge imposes a sentence
that departs from the recommended guidelines
the reasons for departure shall be orally articulated
at the time sentence is imposed. Any departure
sentence must be accompanied by a written statement,
signed by the sentencing judge, delineating the
reasons for departure. The written statement shall be
filed in the court file within 7 days after the date of
sentencing. A written transcription of orally stated
reasons for departure articulated at the time sentence
was imposed is sufficient if it is signed by the sentencing
judge and filed in the court file within 7 days after
the date of sentencing. The sentencing judge may also
list the written reasons for departure in the space provided
on the guidelines scoresheet and shall sign the
(B) The written statement delineating the reasons
for departure shall be made a part of the record. The
written statement, if it is a separate document, must
accompany the guidelines scoresheet
required to be
provided to the Department of Corrections pursuant
to subsection 921.0014(5).
(31) The sentencing court shall impose or suspend
sentence for each separate count, as convicted.
total sentence shall be within the guidelines sentence
unless a departure is ordered.
If a split sentence is imposed, the incarcerative
portion of the sentence must not deviate more than
25 percent from the recommended guidelines prison
sentence. The total sanction (incarceration and community
control or probation) shall not exceed the term
provided by general law or the guidelines recommended
sentence where the provisions of subsection
(32) Sentences imposed after revocation of probation
or community control must be in accordance
the guidelines. Cumulative incarceration imposed
after revocation of probation or community control
is subject to limitations imposed by the guidelines. A
violation of probation or community control may not
be the basis for a departure sentence.
(a) This portion was amended to show that the earliest offense
date to which this rule applies is October 1, 1995 and that all subsequent
changes are incorporated. It is intended that Committee
Notes will be used to indicate effective dates of changes.
(c) This amendment applies to offenses committed on or after
October 1, 1996.
(d)(9) The 1996 Legislature created two crimes for which sexual
penetration or sexual contact points are not scored. That exception
applies to offenses committed on or after October 1, 1996 pursuant
to section 872.06, Florida Statutes or section 944.35(3)(b)2, Florida
(d)(12) The amendment applies to offenses committed on or
after October 1, 1996.
(d)(13) The amendment applies on or after October 1, 1996.
(d)(17) This amendment, which applies on or after October 1,
1996, clarifies when points may be assessed for multiple violations.
It also incorporates legislative changes that indicate that multiple
assessments may not be made for multiple counts of community
(d)(24) The amendment applies to crimes committed on or after
October 1, 1996.
(d)(25) The amendment applies to crimes committed on or after
October 1, 1997.