Marissa Alexander is a mother of three.  In July 2010, Marissa fired a “warning shot” at her estranged husband, Rico Gray, who had a history of domestic violence.  Despite causing no injuries and having no criminal record, Marissa was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.


During the trial, Marissa pleaded self-defense and rejected a three-year plea bargain. The jury in her case convicted her of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with no intent to harm. Due to Florida’s mandatory minimum sentence law, Marissa’s sentence was set at 20 years.   Mandatory minimum sentences in Florida Controversy has surrounded Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing law since its inception. The concept of the law is fairly simple: for certain crimes, a convicted felon must serve a minimum amount of jail time. Such is the law of the land for Florida residents and for any Fort Lauderdale lawyer representing clients accused of crimes with mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.   How the mandatory minimum sentencing law affects your sentence If you are charged with a crime that falls under the mandatory minimum sentencing law, the judge presiding over your case will have little room or discretion in setting your punishment—you will, at the very least, receive the minimum sentence set by the law if you plead guilty or are found guilty at your trial. Even if the events surrounding your case appear to call for leniency from a judge, he/she is required to impose the minimum mandatory sentence accept in very limited circumstances.   Help from a criminal defense attorney If you’re facing a crime that carrys a mandatory minimum sentence, contact a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney like Richard Della Fera today for a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns.   Source: O’Mara, M. January 28, 2015.  Get rid of minimum mandatory sentencing laws. CNN US Edition.   The information in this blog is for general information purposes only.  Nothing should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.  The specific nature of each case makes it difficult to separate charges in to clear categories.