12 Bizarre (Sometimes Genius) Punishments That Have Been Given By Florida Judges

Voting Rules
Vote up the strangest sentences ever decreed by judges in the great state of Florida.

What is it about Florida? Some of the craziest stories come from Florida, most involving criminals (and their hilarious mugshots). And those enforcing the law in the great Sunshine State are not exempt from strange and downright unbelievable actions. 

Judges sit at the top of the criminal justice hierarchy, and for judges in Florida, they hold the power of sentencing some of the most creative and stupid criminals known to man. And for those people, the oddity of their crimes is reflected in the oddity of their sentencing. Judges in Florida sentencing criminals to weird punishments is sadly more common than you'd think. These weird Florida sentences range from the practical to the absolutely absurd. So before you think of committing a crime, you might want to take a peek at these funny sentences by Florida judges before booking your ticket. 

  • 1
    203 VOTES

    Traffic Criminals Are Required To Write 500 Words Reports On People Who Died In Accidents

    Traffic Criminals Are Required To Write 500 Words Reports On People Who Died In Accidents
    Photo: Artaxerxes / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Rather than simply punish those who have committed road traffic offenses, Judge Carmine Bravo wants to actually educate drivers with infractions. The Seminole County judge often asks defendants to write essays about people who have been killed in traffic accidents. These 500-word articles have to be researched, with the criminals visiting memorial spots, getting hold of accident reports, and finding out about crash victims. He hopes this teaches them more about road safety and gives them a better perspective of the consequences that dangerous driving can bring.

    203 votes
  • 2
    217 VOTES

    Shoplifters Had To Tell People Publicly That They Were Shoplifters

    Judge Peter T. Miller took a novel approach to punishing first-time shoplifters in Putnam County, FL. Instead of sending them to jail for 30 days as usual, he often forced these thieves to go to the store they stole from and march outside holding signs that explain what crime they committed. He believes it is a deterrent, as the community is small and the perpetrators cannot remain anonymous.

    “You have to see them because this is also for the folks out there who obey the law,” Miller told a local news station. “They see that the punishment is something more than just a slap on the wrist. They can see this is what happens when you break the law. It’s maybe something they can point out to a child they’re raising.”

    217 votes
  • 3
    215 VOTES

    Teen Drivers With Bad Records Are Required To Create Scrapbooks And Get Good Grades

    Teen Drivers With Bad Records Are Required To Create Scrapbooks And Get Good Grades
    Photo: AG0ST1NH0 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    One court in Florida decided to take a new approached to educating young drivers after they realized fines weren't working. Rather than give them the ordinary sentence, Judge Louis H. Schiff had them create scrapbooks about road traffic accidents from newspaper clippings and had them raise their grade-point average. He then kept these scrapbooks for other defendants to go through while they are in court waiting for their own traffic infractions.

    215 votes
  • 4
    188 VOTES

    One Judge Publicly Shamed Petty Criminals

    One judge in Bradford County, FL, took a novel approach to punishing petty criminals by giving them really unique sentences. Most boiled down to some form of to public shaming where the perpetrator held a sign in a prominent public place telling everyone what they did. The technique has largely been used against those convicted of theft or DUI and is seen as a way of stopping people from reoffending, as well as cutting down on fines or prison time. Considering how small the area is and how concentrated the population is, law officials believe it is also preventing others from committing similar crimes as they don’t want to go through the embarrassment of everyone finding out what they did.

    188 votes
  • 5
    165 VOTES

    A Man Charged With Playing Music Too Loudly Is Forced To Change His Tune - Literally

    When club promoter Michael Carreras ended up in court for playing rap music loudly from his car at 5 am, Judge Jeffrey Swartz decided on a funny and strange sentence that perfectly fit the crime. The 32-year-old could either pay a $500 fine or sit and listen to the opera La Traviata for two-and-a-half hours. Carreras chose to go with the music rather than pay the hefty fine and reportedly enjoyed the experience while learning a valuable lesson.

    165 votes
  • 6
    169 VOTES

    A Woman Accused Of Attacking A Police Officer Has To Stand Outside The Police Station

    A Woman Accused Of Attacking A Police Officer Has To Stand Outside The Police Station
    Photo: conner395 / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    In 2010, Alexandra Espinosa-Amaya ended up in more trouble than she would ever have imagined. The 24-year-old was ejected from a nightclub in Orlando while celebrating her birthday, prompting police officers to respond when they saw bouncers struggle with her. This eventually led to Alexandra pushing over an officer. The judge at her trial took a novel approach with her punishment, sentencing her to anger management classes and having to parade outside of the police station where the officer was located for four hours while telling people what she had done.

    169 votes