Florida Appellate Law Review: July 14-18 Edition.
Florida Supreme Court:
No opinions issued this week.
Appellate court held that a vacation of a conviction as a sexual predator served to satisfy the time-limit exception to Rule 3.850, so that the defendant could move the court to vacate his designation as a sexual predator even though the time limit to do so had expired.
Appellate court denied an appeal to reduce a bond of $750,000 where the defendant was charged with use of a computer to seduce a child and traveling to meet the child. Appellate courts review bail determinations on an abuse of discretion standard. The defendant did not present any evidence of his financial conditions at the bail hearing, nor did he present any evidence of any ties to Florida.
A convicted defendant can only seek credit for out-of-state jail time served under Rule 3.850, and not under Rule 3.801. Defendant could potentially receive jail credit for time served in Polk County jail under Rule 3.801.
The amount of restitution in theft cases is determined by four factors: (1.) the original market cost; (2.) the manner in which the items were used; (3.) the general condition and quality of the items; and (4.) the percentage of depreciation.
Appellate court held that the juvenile’s conviction of robbery by sudden snatching should have been designated as a non-violent third degree felony, and not as a violent felony requiring secure detention. The statute defining robbery by sudden snatching does not require the offender to use any force or violence.
Defendant waived error regarding jury instructions in attempted murder case when defense counsel told the trial court that he was “completely in agreement” with a set of instructions that omitted attempted voluntary manslaughter. Appellate court also found that it was not fundamental error to omit this instruction, and thus the defendant was not entitled to a new trial.
Dawson, a minor, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. The appellate court overturned this conviction on the basis of Miller v. Alabama (U.S. 2012) and remanded for a new sentencing hearing as required by Miller.
Appellate court held that the trial court committed reversible error in allowing the prosecution to strike an African-American juror, where the prosecutor’s “race-neutral reason” for striking was as follows:
Judge, he’s a kitchen manager. Although that means nothing to your honor or counsel. I worked in a restaurant a lot. A lot of personal drugs run rampant. I don’t want a person like that on my jury panel.
The trial court did not require the prosecutor to elicit from the juror whether he was familiar with drugs or shared any attitudes about drugs that the prosecutor asserted restaurant staff did.
The Fourth DCA held that part of the “Stand Your Ground” law entitled Hill to immunity, even though he was “engaged in an unlawful activity” by being a felon in possession of a firearm at the time of the shooting. This decision brings the Fourth DCA in line with the Second DCA’s decision in Little v. State. Essentially one part of the “Stand Your Ground” law provides immunity as long as the defendant wasn’t engaged in criminal activity at the time of the shooting, while another part does not contain the same language requiring “clean hands.”
The Florida Supreme Court will be addressing this issue in the near future. However the Florida Legislature amended the law this year to add the language ” if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity” to the section that previously did not have this language.
Appellate court reversed conviction due to trial court allowing prosecutor to introduce into evidence certified copies of defendant’s prior felony convictions for similar crimes where there was no evidence in the record that the defendant denied those convictions or gave misleading testimony regarding prior convictions.
Appellate court held the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of coverage under the community pool’s insurance policy for Daisy Eastwood, who was sued for wrongful death after a child in her care drowned at the community pool. Daisy Eastwood did not have any ownership interest in the community pool, and the community pool’s insurance only provided coverage “with respect to liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or repair of that portion of the premises which is not reserved for that member’s exclusive use or occupancy.”