What your Attorney won't (can't) tell you about gain time

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.

Categories: Criminal Law, Articles