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How to Get Credit for Time Served in Jail in Pensacola

Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024 at 9:00 am    

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If you face criminal charges in Pensacola, Florida, one of the most pressing concerns is the potential time you may have to spend in jail. The prospect of being deprived of your freedom and separated from your loved ones can be scary, causing immense stress and anxiety. However, there is a glimmer of hope – you may be eligible for credit for the time you’ve already served behind bars for the same crime, which could significantly reduce your sentence.

This legal provision aims to uphold the principle of fairness and ensure that the punishment fits the crime. By granting credit for the days, weeks, or months spent in custody, the justice system acknowledges the hardship you’ve already endured and seeks to prevent excessive or unjust incarceration.

What Is the Credit for Time Served in Florida?

In Florida, the credit for time served deducts the time you’ve spent in jail or custody awaiting trial or sentencing for the crime you’ve been charged with from the final sentence imposed by the court, effectively reducing the time you’ll have to spend incarcerated after your sentence has been assigned.

For example, suppose you were arrested and jailed for six months before your trial. If you’re convicted and sentenced to two years, you will receive credit for the six months you’ve already served, leaving only 18 months remaining on your sentence.

What Is Time Served Credit?

Time-served credit is a legal concept that recognizes your time in custody before your conviction or sentencing. The rationale behind time-served credit is simple: it’s unfair to make someone serve more time in jail or prison than they were sentenced to, especially when they’ve already been deprived of their freedom while awaiting trial. The justice system aims to balance punishment and fairness by granting credit for time served.

What Percent of Jail Time Do You Have to Serve in Florida?

In Florida, the percentage of jail time you have to serve depends on the type of offense you’ve been convicted of and the specific sentencing guidelines in place. Generally, you may be eligible for release for non-violent offenses after serving 85% of your sentence. For violent offenses, such as crimes involving the use of a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily harm, you may have to serve 85% of your sentence or a minimum of 85% of the lowest permissible sentence, whichever is greater.

It’s important to note that these percentages are subject to change based on various factors, including your criminal history, the severity of the crime, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Additionally, certain offenses may have mandatory minimum sentences that must be served in full, regardless of time served credit.

Does Jail Time Count Towards Your Sentence?

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Yes, your time in jail while awaiting trial or sentencing counts towards your overall sentence. This is known as the credit for time served, and it’s a crucial aspect of ensuring fairness in the criminal justice system.

When you’re arrested and held in custody, the clock starts ticking on the time you’ve served. Every day, week, and month you spend behind bars before your conviction is carefully documented and accounted for. Once you’re sentenced, that time is deducted from your total sentence, effectively reducing the time you’ll have to serve in prison or jail.

It’s essential to understand that credit for time served is not automatic—you or your attorney must explicitly request it from the court. Failure to do so could result in you serving more time than necessary, clearly violating your rights.

If you discover that you were not given appropriate credit for the time you spent incarcerated before you were sentenced, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.801 allows a means of correction. You and your lawyer must file a motion to correct jail credit within one year of the date the sentence became final. The motion must include a statement of the facts about the uncounted jail days, the dates, location, and incarceration time for which you’ve already been given credit, the dates, location, and incarceration time you were not given credit for, whether other criminal charges were pending at the time, and whether you waived any county jail credit at the time of sentencing. Your lawyer can handle this motion for you.

Get the Legal Help You Need Today

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Pensacola, having an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney by your side is crucial. At The Morris Firm, our team of skilled lawyers will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure you receive the credit for time served that you’re entitled to. Contact us today at (850) 503-2626 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you manage the complex legal system and minimize the impact of your charges.