Anti-Murder Act

THE ANTI-MURDER ACT

I know what you're asking yourself, "why should I care about the Anti-Murder Act, I didn't kill anyone!".  Well, don't let the title fool you, this law, found in Florida Statutes 948.06(8) deals with bond issues and sentencing issues on Violations of Probation (VOP) or Violations of Community Control for those considered "Violent Felony Offenders of Special Concern".

The Anti-Murder Act essentially makes life more difficult for those who violate probation in three main ways.  First, the statute can make it impossible to have a bond set on the VOP.  Second, the statute ties the hands of the sentencing judge by making it impossible to reinstate probation when the defendant is found to be a "danger to the community".  Third, the Anti-Murder Statute causes the points on a defendant's VOP scoresheet to increase substantially (the scoresheet points for a VOP technical violation are typically 6 points, but under the Anti-Murder Statute they double to 12 points.  Same goes for a new felony conviction, non-anti-murder VOP is only 12 points, but an anti-murder VOP on a new felony scores an additional 24 points!).

There's many ways a defendant can fall under the Anti-Murder Act, but all of the below must have occurred after April 11th, 2007.  Here's a few of the more common ways to qualify.  First, you fall under the Anti-Murder Act if you're on probation or community control for certain offenses, including, but not limited to, Robbery, Lewd Act, Aggravated Battery, Sexual Battery, Murder (of course), Kidnapping, and Aggravated Assault.  Also, the Anti-Murder Act applies to a defendant's VOP if the new felony accusation is one of the above listed offenses, or for those defendant's who have such a serious conviction in their past criminal history. 

There are at least 17 "qualifying offenses" that will tag a person "Anti-Murder".  What this means is that, if you're on probation for any of these offenses, violated probation by being arrested for any of these offenses, or have a prior such offense (even a withhold of adjudication counts), then you qualify under the Anti-Murder Act.

1.  Offenses involving children, like kidnapping, false imprisonment, or luring or enticing a child

2. Murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter

3.  Aggravated battery

4. Sexual battery

5. Lewd or lascivious molestation/battery/conduct/exhibition

6.  Robbery, carjacking, home invasion

7.  Sexual performance by a child

8. Computer pornography, transmission of such, or selling or buying of minors

9. Poisoning food or water

10.  Abuse of a dead human body

11. Burglary offenses (if its a first or second degree offense, burglary of a conveyance is a third degree felony, and thus, it is not a qualifying charge)

12. Arson

13. Aggravated Assault

14. Aggravated Stalking

15.  Aircraft Piracy

16.  Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a bomb

17.  Treason

18.  Any of these offenses committed in another state or country may still county as a "qualifying offense"

19.  An "Attempt" of any of the above may also constitute a "qualifying offense"

Before even attempting to navigate this tricky VOP statute, feel free to call criminal defense attorney John Guidry for a free consultation regarding your rights.  Yes, you heard me, the call is free, so don't be shy.
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