Upon a finding by the factfinder that the defendant committed the charged offense for the purpose of benefiting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal gang, the penalty for any felony or misdemeanor, or any delinquent act or violation of law which would be a felony or misdemeanor if committed by an adult, may be enhanced. Penalty enhancement affects the applicable statutory maximum penalty only. Each of the findings required as a basis for such sentence shall be found beyond a reasonable doubt. The enhancement will be as follows:
(1)(a) A misdemeanor of the second degree may be punished as if it were a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 874.04
- Criminal gang: means a formal or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts, and that consists of three or more persons who have a common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols, including, but not limited to, terrorist organizations and hate groups. See Florida Statutes 946.520
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
(b) A misdemeanor of the first degree may be punished as if it were a felony of the third degree. For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921 and determining incentive gain-time eligibility under chapter 944, such offense is ranked in level 1 of the offense severity ranking chart. The criminal gang multiplier in s. 921.0024 does not apply to misdemeanors enhanced under this paragraph.
(2)(a) A felony of the third degree may be punished as if it were a felony of the second degree.
(b) A felony of the second degree may be punished as if it were a felony of the first degree.
(c) A felony of the first degree may be punished as if it were a life felony.
For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921 and determining incentive gain-time eligibility under chapter 944, such felony offense is ranked as provided in s. 921.0022 or s. 921.0023, and without regard to the penalty enhancement in this subsection.