Litigating Sentencing Hearings in FL (111) Michael A Haber Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sentencing occurs after a finding of guilt has been made (be it by a Judge or a Jury, after a trial or by way of an “open” plea) and, oftentimes, proves to be more complex than a trial.

In Florida “sentencing” is accomplished by way of the “Sentencing Guidelines” as established in the “Criminal Punishment Code”. The theory is that each case (including each case’s unique factors) is “valued” on a variety of measurable scales and the Guidelines (which are essentially a mathematic formula) calculation results in the computation of a non-biased yet custom tailored “permissible sentencing range” within which the Judge is free to exercise her/his discretion and outside of which (up or down) s/he must adequately and lawfully explain her/his ruling. But the reality is that this cold and impersonal formula is not always fair to a given Defendant in a given case.

Factors that the Judge must consider include the “primary offense” (the most serious offense charged), any “additional offenses” (any lesser or equal charges faced), the level of “victim injury” (the actual harm suffered by the victim), “prior record” (any properly score able prior criminal offenses), “legal status” (whether or not one was under any lawful sanction or requirement at the time), and a variety of other “enhancers” for such things as firearms, prior “serious” felonies, drug trafficking, law enforcement protection act violations, grand theft of a motor vehicle, gang related activities and domestic violence cases which occur in the presence of children. Each of these factors has a “point value” which must be determined and when the points are all added together the sum is used to computate the “lowest permissible prison sentence in months” or the “low end” of the guidelines) below which the Judge cannot depart without clearly stated legal reasons.

The Judge can enhance / “bump up” (or “reclassify”) a given offense from a lower to a higher level and in some circumstances the Judge “must” do so (i.e. where a Defendant is a Habitual or a Prison Release ReOffender) and sometimes “minimum mandatory” prison terms must be imposed (i.e. for drug trafficking).

The Judge is also permitted to find “mitigating circumstance” and thereby lawfully depart downward from the calculated sentencing guidelines. However, in order for any of the statutory mitigators to apply they must first be specifically pled and proven by the Defendant (and of course the State will be afforded an opportunity to disprove or to raise doubt as to the same). Some accepted mitigating factors are that the departure is made at the request of the State and defense jointly in the form of a plea bargain, the Defendant only committed the offense because of extreme duress or the dominance of another person, or because the Defendant suffers from a major mental illness.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. we take noting for granted, adopting a comprehensive / global view of all criminal cases which pays careful attention to potential sentencing issues right up front. As early as during an initial consultation Michael A. Haber, Esq. will look to identify any possible mitigation issues, and during the course of representation Michael A. Haber, Esq. will simultaneously work toward acquittal and reducing the client’s exposure. If evidence is needed (be it documents or expert witnesses) then we will identify and acquire it.
At Michael A. Haber, P.A. we’re “in it to win it” and “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!

At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!

Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:

Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
Cellular Phone / Text: 305-798-2220
E-Mail: [email protected] / [email protected]
Twitter: @Sharky910

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Michael A. Haber

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "it's all about reasonable doubt"!Whether in State or Federal Courts, Michael A. Haber, P.A. strives to ensure that his client's rights are respected and that his clients receive top-tier legal representation and counsel.For more than a quarter of a century I have striven to make Michael A. Haber, P.A. a business that custom tailors its services to meet the needs of the client. This incorporates such things as (but is not limited to) doing my best to meet clients at their convenience (as opposed to mine), in locations and at times which are mutually convenient (sometimes at their homes, places of business, independent ground - having free wifi and excellent coffee any Dunkin Donuts always works for me - and occasionally even at odd hours), structuring fees to reasonably accommodate the parties, making myself personally available to the client as close to 24/7 as is possible and, perhaps most importantly, giving careful and comprehensive consideration to both micro and macro issues in a given case so as to be able to agree upon and effort toward a viable litigation objective. This is why I refer to Michael A. Haber, P.A. proudly providing "boutique criminal defense litigation" (being "a small company that offers highly specialized services"), and this is a large part of Michael A. Haber, P.A.'s mission statementAccordingly, Michael A. Haber, P.A. has provided personalized and boutique legal services to both individuals and entities, primarily in the South Florida area, since 1991. With no history of professional discipline whatsoever, Michael A. Haber, Esq. zealously advocates his client's interests and custom tailors his services to meet each client's particular situation, needs and desires.Toward that end Michael A. Haber, Esq. makes himself directly available to his clients whether in person, over the phone (305-381-8686 or Toll Free 1-888-SHARK-8-1), by cell, verbally or text (305-798-2220), by e-mail ([email protected]) on Facebook ( ), on Twittter, (@Sharkjy910) on AOL/IM (Sharky910), and also why I consistently add information to the public on both the Michael A. Haber, P.A. Criminal Michael A Haber PA Criminal DUI Defense Litigation Miami Blog ( and with my "Webisode" series on YouTube (, whcih currently features 222 briegf VideoFAQ's on a variety of Criminal Defense, DUI and BUI related topics.When you hire Michael A. Haber, P.A. you get Michael A. Haber, Esq.!And remember, at HaberPA, it's all about reasonable doubt!

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