GOAL: Departures from the recommended sentences established in the guidelines are articulated in writing and made only when circumstances or factors reasonably justify the aggravation or mitigation of the sentence. F.S. 921.001(4)(a)6.
FACT: Of the 96,131 scoresheets received with sentence dates in FY 1995-96, the courts deviated from the guidelines structure in 11.8% of the cases (10,353 mitigated and 980 aggravated, 11,323 total deviations).
NOTES: An offender's score determines from which of three categories he will be sentenced.
However, the courts may depart from the guidelines structure if a written reason justifying the departure is provided (see sample of scoresheet with attached departure list in the Appendix). A deviation may occur in the non-state prison category (aggravation) or the state prison category (mitigation). Departure information may be recorded on the scoresheet or may be filed in writing in some other manner within 7 days of sentencing.
A true mitigation occurs when an offender scores more than 52.0 total points and either receives a non-state prison sanction or a state prison sentence length less than the 25% permissible downward discretion existing within the guidelines. A sanction mitigation occurs when an offender scores more than 52.0 total points, but receives a non-state prison sanction.
List of Tables and Figures for Part II, Section 3