Florida Good Behavior Time

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Florida Good Behavior Time

By |2018-07-27T20:08:41+00:00July 27th, 2018|criminal defense law, juvenile defense law|Comments Off on Florida Good Behavior Time

Gain time, or good behavior time as it is more widely known due to some popular criminal law-themed television shows and movies, is a concept that exists in many states, as well as the federal correctional system.  Good behavior time permits someone who has been convicted of a crime to serve less than the individual’s full sentence if the inmate meets certain specific criteria, such as by participating in an approved drug or alcohol treatment program or participating in other rehabilitation or work programs.  Time in prison is shaved off at the end of an inmate’s sentence, but it is entirely contingent upon the inmate meeting the requirements to earn gain time in his or her jurisdiction.  Gain time is not automatic or a right but is instead something an inmate must earn.

However, good behavior time also is often widely misunderstood because the rules vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; an inmate must meet the criteria of that jurisdiction to obtain a reduction in sentence.  Many inmates assume they will just automatically receive gain time, but this is most definitely not the case.  Like most other states, Florida has its own rules relating to gain time.  These allow an inmate serving a prison sentence in Florida to reduce the length of his or her prison sentence by up to ten days per month of time served, but the inmate must specific criteria each month to earn this ten days.

Florida Law Regarding Gain Time

Under Florida law, for crimes that were committed after October 1, 1995, defendants are required to serve 85% of whatever sentence was imposed by the judge presiding over his or her case.  This includes any time served in a county or municipal jail while awaiting sentencing as credited by the sentencing court.  However, under Florida Statutes Section 944.275 , the Florida Department of Corrections is authorized to “grant deductions from sentences in the form of gain-time in order to encourage satisfactory prisoner behavior, to provide incentive for prisoners to participate in productive activities, and to reward prisoners who perform outstanding deeds or services.”  This consists of up to ten days per month served for each month that a prisoner is incarcerated and meets the criteria for obtaining gain-time credit.  The gain time is applied to the inmate’s sentence so that, if an inmate earns gain time one month, but misses obtaining it the next two months, the inmate will still have ten days from that first month shaved off his or her ultimate sentence.

Therefore, if a person is sentenced to one year in prison for a criminal conviction, the person must serve at least roughly 10 and ⅓ months before he or she would ever be eligible for release.  This, of course, assumes that the defendant receives all applicable gain-time credits possible. If, for instance, the inmate starts a fight in which another inmate is injured and is then put in solitary confinement, he or she is likely not to obtain gain-time for the month in which the fight occurred.  Nevertheless, behaving like a model prisoner can benefit the prisoner by reducing his or her sentence simply because the prisoner is minding his P’s and Q’s.  Gain-time can be a powerful tool to return to your family and friends sooner than you may have expected, and any person who has a friend, relative, or acquaintance in a Florida state prison should ensure that person knows the value of gain time.  You get your freedom back sooner, which ultimately is what counts most to the greatest number of inmates.

Contact Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Bryan Raymond if You Have Been Arrested or Are Facing Criminal Charges in Palm Beach County 

If you were arrested or are facing charges in Palm Beach County for any criminal offense, contact West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Bryan M. Raymond of the Law Office of Bryan Raymond.  Bryan is an experienced defense attorney who represents both adults and juveniles charged with all types of criminal offenses in Palm Beach County.  Although Bryan is a zealous advocate and will work tirelessly to ensure your criminal proceedings end in a manner that is favorable to you, he will also sit down with you and explain exactly what prison time you may be facing if the worst happens and you are convicted of the charged offense.  Therefore, if you have been arrested for or are charged with a criminal offense in Palm Beach County, Florida, and need a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney who will stop at nothing in defending you but will also be straight with you in terms of the potential penalties you may face, immediately contact experienced criminal defense attorney Bryan Raymond today at (561) 682-1115 or bryan@raymondlaw.net.