Is the Defendant Given Credit for Time Served In Jail Following His Sentencing ?
In Downs v. State, 572 So. 2d 895 (Fla. 1990), the Supreme Court of Florida addressed whether a trial court abused its discretion in responding to the following question posed by the jury during deliberations: "Would the life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years begin right now, or would the 11 years he's already spent in prison be subtracted from the 25 years ?" Downs, 572 So. 2d at 900.
The trial court consulted with both counsel and, over defense counsel's objection, instructed the jury that Downs "would receive credit for time served on this charge." Id. at 900-01.
This Court, without analysis, concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. See: id. at 901.
The jury's question in Downs and the instant action are virtually identical, both inquiring whether the defendant would receive credit for time served.
There is no material difference between the trial court's response in Downs--that the defendant would receive credit for time served on the charge--and the first part of the trial court's response in the instant action--that the defendant would be entitled to credit for all time served.