Mandatory Sentence & the 10/20/Life Statute
A criminal lawyer needs to be aware of the application of these statutes as well as the application of other gun related offenses. For example, some defense lawyers are not aware that a felon in possession of firearm charge carries a three year minimum mandatory when there is actual possession but not when the felon is in constructive possession of the firearm.
The application of the 10/20/Life statute is particularly complicated. The 10/20/Life statute requires the Judge to sentence anyone convicted of certain felony offenses while armed with a firearm to a 10 year prison sentence. If the person discharged the firearm, the penalty is a mandatory minimum term of 20 years. If the person kills or seriously injures someone, the Judge must impose a minimum term of 25-years to life in prison.
Unless you are under the age of 21 at the time of the offense, the Judge does not have any discretion to waive a minimum mandatory prison sentence related to the 10/20/Life statute. If the offense occurred when you were 21 years old or younger, the Judge has discretion to give you any sentence from probation up to 6 years in prison.