The Florida legislature enacted statutory guidelines that the courts use when sentencing people convicted of violating state law. Sentencing courts have discretion, however, and can deliver downward departure sentences if they believe they are warranted under the circumstances. Recently, a Florida court examined when a downward departure sentence is appropriate in a burglary case in which it ultimately reversed a downward departure sentence on the grounds that it was not supported by competent evidence. If you were charged with burglary or any other theft offense, it is wise to talk to a Sarasota theft crime defense attorney about your possible defenses.
The Facts of the Case
It is alleged that he was charged with grand theft and burglary of an occupied dwelling in 2019 following an incident in which he drove a co-defendant to a residence, waited while the codefendant broke a window and entered the home, and then drove the co-defendant away. They were later stopped with $15,000 worth of jewelry that had been taken from the home.
Reportedly, while the defendant was awaiting trial for the subject charges, he was convicted of other charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and grand theft. The defendant then moved for a downward departure in the subject case, arguing that the offenses were committed in an unsophisticated manner and were isolated incidents. The court granted the defendant’s motion over the State’s objection, and the State appealed.