Court Explains Credit for Time Served in Florida Criminal Matters

Battery is a violent crime, and in some instances, the court will consider a person charged with felony battery to be a risk to society and will deny them bail. If a person that remains in jail throughout the pendency of their trial is ultimately convicted, they may be granted a credit towards their sentence on account of the time they already served. Not all time spent in jail counts towards a sentence, however, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling issued in a case in which the defendant appealed his sentence for a felony battery conviction. If you were charged with felony battery, it is smart to consult a skilled Florida violent crime defense lawyer to discuss your options.

Procedural History of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant was charged with and convicted of felony battery and misdemeanor assault. Following his conviction, he was sentenced to serve time in prison, and the trial court granted him credit for the time he spent in jail before he was sentenced. He moved to correct his sentence, and the court denied his motion. He filed three similar motions, which were also denied. He subsequently appealed his judgment and sentences.

Credit for Time Served

On appeal, the sole issue was whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s fourth motion to correct a sentencing error. The court explained that when the defendant was sentenced in 2018, he was granted credit for time served prior to his sentencing hearing. From the time he was sentenced until he was transported to prison; however, he spent an additional forty days in jail.

The defendant conceded that it was the duty of the Department of Corrections to grant criminal defendants credit for any delays between the time they are sentenced and when they are transported to jail. He argued, however, that because he was subsequently resentenced, the time he was in jail while awaiting transport transmuted into presentence jail time. The court disagreed, adopting the trial court’s reasoning that the character of the credit for time spent in jail while waiting to be transported to the Department of Corrections does not change merely because the defendant subsequently receives a modified sentence. In other words, the time spent in jail before a sentence is issued is different in quality from the time served as part of a sentence or the time credited against a sentence. As such, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Contact a Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa

Battery is often charged as a felony, and a conviction for a felony crime can result in a lengthy prison sentence. If you are faced with charges of felony battery or any other violent crime, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Tampa criminal defense attorneys of Hanlon Law have the knowledge and experience needed to help you pursue the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can contact us through the form online or at 813-228-7095 to set up a conference.