Imposing Habitual Felony Offender Sentence on a Prison Releasee Reoffender When He Qualifies Under Both Statutes

In Smith v. State, 754 So. 2d 100 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000), the defendant was convicted of robbery and sentenced to thirty years as a habitual felony offender, with a concurrent fifteen-year mandatory minimum term as a prison releasee reoffender. The First District found that this did not violate double jeopardy: In the PRR Act, the Legislature wrote, "Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a court from imposing a greater sentence of incarceration as authorized by law, pursuant to s. 775.084, or any other provision of law." Sec. 775.082(8)(c), Fla. Stat. (1997). The court find that this subsection allows a trial court to impose an habitual felony offender ("HFO") sentence on a prison releasee reoffender ("PRR") when the defendant qualifies under both statutes. It does not require a trial court to choose between one or the other. When a defendant receives a sentence like the one in this case, the PRR Act operates as a mandatory minimum sentence. It does not create two separate sentences for one crime. Smith, 754 So. 2d at 101.