Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Explained

Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges in Florida's circuit courts rely heavily on scoresheets in the vast majority of their sentencing hearings.  Scoresheets are required by law in most felony sentencings.  A properly filled out, accurate and complete sentencing scoresheet helps to ensure just sentencing and is an important safeguard against sentencing error in circuit court.
Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters and William H. Burgess, III. Further reproduction is prohibited.

By Hon. William H. Burgess, III, B.C.S.

  The State of Florida has, for the past 30 years and through a succession of sentencing schemes involving the vast majority of criminal sentencings in circuit court, used printed scoresheets to collect and report sentencing data, to quantify sentencing factors, and to document sentences imposed. Since October 1, 1998, the State has used the Rule 3.992(a) Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet and the Rule 3.992(b) Criminal Punishment Code Supplemental Scoresheet, illustrated below.  This post presents a comprehensive explanation of the proper completion and utilization of the Criminal Punishment Code sentencing scoresheet.