Florida Court Discusses Grounds for Granting Compassionate Release

People incarcerated in federal prisons typically have to serve the entirety of their sentences unless they are eligible for parole or get credit for good behavior. In some instances, though, federal prisoners may be able to obtain a compassionate release. Only reasons enumerated by statute qualify for release, however, as explained in a recent Florida case in which the court denied the request for compassionate release of a defendant convicted of robbery. If you are accused of robbery or another theft crime, it is prudent to consult a Tampa theft offense defense attorney to determine what measures you can take to protect your rights.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was convicted of numerous robbery-related crimes and sentenced to 270 months in federal prison. In addition to his robbery offenses, he had previously been arrested for several other crimes. He subsequently filed a motion for compassionate release pursuant to federal law on the grounds that he had multiple medical conditions and was exposed to an increased risk of COVID-19.

It is reported that the government opposed the defendant’s motion, noting that the defendant’s claimed conditions did not qualify as one of the medical conditions set forth in the statutory guidelines that constitute grounds for granting compassionate release. The court agreed with the government’s reasoning and denied the defendant’s motion. The defendant then appealed.

Grounds for Granting Compassionate Release

On appeal, the defendant argued that the court erred in ruling that it could not consider reasons for granting compassionate release other than those listed in the statutory guidelines. The court ultimately disagreed and affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, the court explained that a term of imprisonment might be reduced if the factors considered when imposing a sentence weigh in favor of the release, there are compelling and extraordinary reasons for granting the request, and granting the request would not endanger any community or individual.

The court clarified that all of these conditions must be met; if they are not, a court cannot grant a request for compassionate release. In the subject case, the trial court expressly noted that the relevant sentencing factors weighed against granting the defendant’s request. Further, his criminal history and the need to deter him from committing crimes weighed heavily against him.

The court also rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court should consider factors outside of those listed in the guidelines, noting there was no basis for his assertion. Thus, the court denied the defendant’s appeal.

Discuss your Charges with a Capable Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney

People accused of theft offenses may fear that the odds are stacked against them, but in many instances, the government lacks sufficient evidence to support a conviction. If you are charged with a theft crime, like robbery, it is in your best interest to discuss your charges with an attorney. The capable Tampa lawyers of Hanlon Law are proficient at helping people seek favorable verdicts in criminal proceedings, and if you hire us, we will diligently pursue the best outcome available. You can reach Hanlon Law by using the form online or by calling us at 813-228-7095 to set up a conference.