Rule 3.800 Motions

When the court sentences the defendant to an illegal sentence, the proper avenue of attack is to file a Rule 3.800 Motion to correct the illegal sentence. The illegality must be shown based on the face of the record.

The Florida Legislature has set certain statutory maximum requirements for each criminal law violation. The sentence is illegal when the trial court sentences the defendant to a term that exceeds that statutory maximum.

Relief under a Rule 3.800 motion can be granted after the imposition of the sentence and is not limited to the same 2-year rule imposed in Rule 3.850 Motions. In fact, subsection (a) of Rule 3.800 allows the judge at the trial level to correct the illegal sentence “at any time,” including while the direct criminal appeal is pending.

In Florida, Rule 3.800 motions are most commonly successful based on the following types of errors:

  • The trial court improperly sentenced the defendant to an enhanced sentence and then ran the enhanced sentence on consecutive counts;
  • The court failed to properly award credit for time served; or
  • The court sentenced the defendant to a term of incarceration and probation greater than the statutory maximum allowed for the crime.

Attorney for Rule 3.800 Motions to Correct an Illegal Sentence

Contact the criminal appellate attorneys in Tampa, FL, at Sammis Law Firm. We understand the requirements to file and litigate any post-convictions motions to correct, modify or reduce a sentence under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), 3.800(b), 3.800(c), and all related motions (e.g. motions to set hearings and motions to appoint counsel).

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the underlying charges. We can also look at mistakes made by the attorney at trial, the prosecutor, or the court.

We can obtain a copy of the clerk’s file, the prior attorney’s file, and the prosecutor’s file as part of our review to determine whether a motion for post-conviction relief can be successfully litigated.

Call 813-250-0500.

Cases Rule 3.800 Motions in Florida

In Daniels v, State, 595 So. 2d 952 (Fla. 1992) Supreme Court of the State of Florida announced the rule that when the court sentences a defendant for two or more crimes that resulted from the same criminal episode, that sentence could not then be enhanced under the habitual violent felony offender statute when the sentences for each count were run concurrently.

In Hale v. State, 630 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 1993), the Supreme Court for the State of Florida expanded the rule announced in Daniels to also apply to enhancement under the habitual offender statute for sentences that were run consecutive to one another because the State Legislature’s intention was to increase the punishment for these offenses only to the extent that the maximum sentence for each offense is increased.

In other words, once the habitual offender sentencing enhancement procedure is used to sentence the defendant beyond the statutory maximum sentence, those sentences can not be stacked or run consecutive to one another to enhance the total sentence even more.

This article was last updated on Monday, August 24, 2020.