Sometimes it seems like your attorney can’t give you a straight answer
about gain time in the Florida Prison Sentence. You want to know how much
jail time you will actually serve on a particular sentence, but there
seems to be no clear answer. The reason is because there is no clear answer.
Florida prisons are legally permitted to subtract time from a sentence
of fifteen percent under most circumstances. Florida Statute 944.275 mandates
that and all prisoners must serve at least eighty-five percent of their
sentences. For example, if a defendant is sentenced to 5 years prison
(60 months) they could be released after serving only 51 months, or eighty-five
percent of the sentence. I did say “could”, however.
In some cases it is confusing due to the Florida Statues. There are drug
offenses like the trafficking of cocaine, heroin, oxycodone or hydrocodone,
that all carry various minimum mandatory sentences. In most of these cases,
you are entitled to be rewarded with good and gain time. But in a possession
of a firearm by a convicted felon charge, fleeing and attempting to elude
causing serious bodily injury or death, or battery on a law enforcement
officer while possessing a firearm you are not.
The main part of the confusion is “good and gain time” is exactly
that, time awarded for good behavior. If you are told that you will receive
any gain time before you enter a plea bargain, it may be seen as a promise
that cannot not be fulfilled. If a person is sent to prison and participates
in disruptive behavior while incarcerated, it will directly affect the
awarding of any good and gain time. Since an attorney, or Judge, cannot
predict your future behavior, they cannot be held accountable for your
future actions. Because it is impossible to calculate your future behavior
it also becomes impossible to calculate the good and gain time.