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Felony DUI and the Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet

After a felony DUI arrest, your attorney will explain to you the possible maximum statutory prison sentences that comes with the way the crime is charged. In addition, prosecutors in all felony cases are required to file a scoresheet in accordance with the Florida Criminal Punishment Code that also establishes a minimum sentence.

The way these scores are calculated take several different factors into account, and a score above a certain threshold results in a mandatory prison term. It is important to understand how these scores are calculated, as the 56-page scoresheet preparation manual is extraordinarily detailed and preparation of these scoresheets can easily result in errors by prosecutors that can tremendously impact the recommended sentence for an alleged offender.

Sentencing in a Palm Beach County Felony Drunk Driving Case

If you are facing felony DUI charges in Florida, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have extremely knowledgeable legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fights to get the most favorable outcomes for clients in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County.

Our Fort Lauderdale felony drunk driving attorneys have more than two decades of combined experience with these scoresheets, whether we filled them out as prosecutors or challenged calculations as defenders. Call (561) 557-8686 today to set up a free, confidential consultation that will allow our firm to provide a thorough and honest assessment of your case.

Overview of Florida DUI and the Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet

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Primary, Additional, and Prior Offenses on Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet

There are three categories on the first page of the scoresheet that assign certain offense levels to specific felony charges. The felony levels vary by offense. For instance, a felony DUI involving no injury that is the alleged offender’s third DUI conviction is a Level 3 offense, while a DUI manslaughter offense that involves an alleged offender failing to render aid or give information is a Level 9 offense.

The crimes of the alleged offender are broken into these three scoring categories:

  • Primary Offense — This is the criminal charge that the alleged offender is facing. If the alleged offender is facing multiple charges, then this will be the most severe of the charges.
  • Additional Offenses — If the alleged offender is facing more than one charge, then those other crimes are listed here. While misdemeanors cannot be primary offenses, they may be included here.
  • Prior Record — This is the section in which an alleged offender’s previous convictions will be assigned point levels. Juvenile charges may be added if they were within five years of the primary offense, but convictions for offenses committed more than 10 years before the primary offense cannot be scored here if the alleged offender was not convicted of any other crime for 10 consecutive years.

Depending on how these offenses are classified, they will be scored as follows:

Offense Level

Primary Offense

Additional Offenses

Prior Record





Level 1




Level 2




Level 3




Level 4




Level 5




Level 6




Level 7




Level 8




Level 9




Level 10




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Other Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Factors

In addition to the crimes that an alleged offender has been accused of, there are several other sections of the scoresheet that can impact the final score. These other sections include:

  • Victim Injury — If there were any victims who suffered injuries as a result of the alleged offender’s primary or additional offenses, additional points will be assessed here. These points are assessed per victim, and they vary depending on the severity of the injury:
    • Second-Degree Murder — 240
    • Death — 120
    • Sex Penetration — 80
    • Severe — 40
    • Sex Contact — 40
    • Moderate — 18
    • Slight — 4
  • Legal Status Violation — Four points will be assessed if an alleged offender was considered to have any of the following legal statuses at the time of the felony (alleged offenders who qualify for more than one of the following are still assessed one legal status violation of four points):
    • Escape
    • Fleeing
    • Failure to Appear
    • Supersedeas Bond
    • Incarceration
    • Pretrial Intervention or Diversion Program
    • Court Imposed or Post-Prison Release Community Supervision Resulting in a Conviction
  • Community Sanction Violation Before the Court for Sentencing — If an alleged offender violated probation, community control, or pretrial intervention or diversion, then he or she could have the following points added to his or her score:
    • Any Violation Other Than New Felony Conviction — 6 points for each successive violation
    • New Felony Conviction — 12 points for each successive violation if the new offense results in conviction before or at same time as sentence for violation of probation or for a violent felony offender of special concern when the violation is not based solely on failure to pay costs, fines, or restitution, but 24 points for each successive violation for a violent felony offender of special concern if new offense results in a conviction before or at the same time for violation of probation
  • Firearm/Semi-Automatic or Machine Gun — 18 points are assessed if the alleged offender is convicted of committing or attempting to commit any felony while having a firearm in his or her possession, but 25 points are assessed if he or she is convicted of committing or attempting to commit any felony while having a semi-automatic weapon or machine gun in his or her possession. If you had such a weapon in your car when pulled over by Palm Beach or Broward sheriff's deputies for a felony DUI offense, this may affect you.
  • Prior Serious Felony — 30 points will be assessed if there is a crime in the alleged offender’s prior record that is a Level 8, Level 9, or Level 10 offense

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Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Sentence Computation

All of the numbers above will be added together to determine the alleged offender’s subtotal sentence points. If the primary offense qualifies for enhancement, then it may be subject to the following sentence enhancements:

  • Law Enforcement Protection — Violations of the Law Enforcement Protection Act may be subject to subtotal sentence points being multiplied by a factor of 1.5, 2.0, or 2.5, depending on the section of the act that was violated.
  • Drug Trafficking — Subtotal sentence points are multiplied by a factor of 1.5
  • Motor Vehicle Theft — If the alleged offender’s primary offense is third degree grand theft auto and his or her prior record includes three or more convictions for the same offense, subtotal sentence points are multiplied by a factor of 1.5
  • Criminal Gang Offense — If the alleged offender’s primary offense was committed for the purpose of benefitting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal gang, his or her subtotal sentence points are multiplied by a factor of 1.5
  • Domestic Violence in the Presence of Related Child — If the primary offense was a crime of domestic violence committed in the presence of a child 16 years of age or younger, the subtotal sentence points are multiplied by a factor of 1.5
  • Adult-on-Minor Sex Offense — Subtotal sentence points are multiplied by a factor of 2.0

After enhancements have been added, the new figure will be the alleged offender’s total sentence points. The court must sentence the alleged offender to a nonstate prison sanction if the total sentence points are 22 points or less, although the alleged offender may be sentenced to a state correctional facility if the court makes written findings that a nonstate prison sanction could present a danger to the public.

If total sentence points are less than or equal to 44, then any non-state prison sanction is the lowest permissible sentence although the court can still sentence an alleged offender up to the statutory maximum for the felony offenses committed. If the total sentence points are greater than 44, then 28 is subtracted from that total and the new figure is multiplied by 0.75 (or reduced by 25 percent). The resulting figure represents the lowest permissible prison sentence in months.

The maximum sentences in these cases are the statutory maximums for the primary and any additional offenses unless the lowest permissible sentence calculated on the scoresheet exceeds the statutory maximum. If the total sentence points are greater than or equal to 363, an alleged offender may receive a life sentence.

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Sentencing for Felony Drunk Driving Cases in Fort Lauderdale

Are you facing felony DUI charges in South Florida? You will want to make sure that you have skilled legal representation who can not only challenge the scoresheet computations of the prosecutor but fight the charges you are facing.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. aggressively defends clients in Greenacres, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Riviera Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, and Lake Worth. Our Palm Beach County felony drunk driving attorneys can review your case when you call (561) 557-8686 to schedule a free legal consultation.

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