Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Law Updates for June 25, 2010

Yaqubie, 35 FLW 1342, 3rd DCA, Immunity/Stand your ground law. Error to treat def's immunity claim as an affirmative defense and to deny motion to dismiss because material facts were at issue. Statute is true immunity provision which requires the trial court to adjudicate disputed fact issues rather than passing them on to the jury. Remand for the court to determine if def's immunity claim is supported by the preponderance of the evidence.
N.B. There is conflict in this state on this issue, and the 4th does not follow the 3rd DCA opinion. This isssue is on appeal right now to the Florida Supreme Court in Dennis v. State.

Link to the ACLU Summary of the 2009 Supreme Court Term

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Law Updates for June 18, 2010

Vice, 35 FLW 1273, 1st DCA. Aggravated Child Abuse - error to admit testimony of def's former husband and former mother-in-law regarding their observations of the def shaking a different child 6 years earlier without injuring the child, where the evidence was not relevant to any material fact at issue in which this infant sustained injuries formerly said to characterize Shaken Baby Syndrome. Paucity of evidence; reasonable possibility that this evidence contributed to the conviction.

T.M., 35 FLW 1290, 4TH DCA, Pat down of juvenile during an investigatory stop was unwarranted and illegal. No facts or circumstances to warrant the pat down for officer who safety-stopped juvenile in high crime area at 11 a.m. based on suspicion they were unlawfully missing school or were about to commit a burglary or drug sale. Officer admitted the answers they gave dispelled any concern related to crimes. Ofc did not observe any bulges that resembled a weapon near the waistline where juvenile was moving his hands. Juv did not attempt to grab anything from his pockets and ofc had no info linking to juvenile criminal activity involving a weapon.

Dixon, 35 FLW 1298, 4th DCA, Warrant-less entry into a home. Police entered the apt without consent and without exigent circumstances to justify the entry. Failure to protest the entry did not constitute consent to enter. Ofc had duty to investigate a 911 call until he was reasonably satisfied that no urgency existed or once urgent situation was no longer urgent. Exigency dissipated once ofc received the official description of robbery from the victim, who was out of harm's way and thereafter the conversation occurred at the apartment door.

Shelden, 35 FLW 1316, 2nd DCA, Corpus delicti - Trial court erred in admitting def's statement to police where the state failed to prove C.D. State's evidence showed a firearm was discharged inside def's home. No evidence apart from the def's statements that the shots were fired wantonly and maliciously.

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Law Updates for June 11, 2010

Ferrey. 35 FLW 1242, 3rd DCA. Hearsay - Court was correct to order a new trial where the victim and the detective referred to the victim's neighbor, a non-testifying witness. Statements of the non-testifying witness inferred that the witness had observed the defendant. The defendant's right to confront the witness was violated. The error was pervasive court; did not abuse discretion in ordering a new trial.

McNeal, 35 FLW 1261, 2nd DCA, Fact that the dog had been trained and certified, "standing" alone is insufficient to give officers probable cause to search based on dog's alert. Trial court must consider other factors, including dog's past performance in the field.

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Law Updates for June 4, 2010

Blair, 35 FLW 311, Fla., Error for the court to order pretrial detention based on def's failure to appear without finding that the failure to appear was willful and without determining whether conditions of release were appropriate as delineated in 907.041.

Miller, 35 FLW 1177, 4th DCA, Jury instructions - Trial court erred in refusing to give requested instruction on affirmative defense of lack of knowledge that substance he possessed was cocaine where def presented some evidence in support of defense.

Gestewitz, 35 FLW 177, 4th DCA, Police unlawfully detained the def outside of a bar after an argument with a bartender for the purpose of issuing a written trespass warning. Officer had no lawful purpose to detain the defendant because at the time he was detained there was no reasonable suspicion that the def committed the crime of trespass and the warning is a prerequisite of the crime. Def should have been given a verbal warning and allowed to leave with a friend.

Gonzalez-Ramos, 35 FLW 1203, 5th DCA, Trial court lacked jurisdiction to find the def in violation of probation where affidavit was filed and warrant issued after the term of probation expired. Probationary term was NOT tolled for the period of time between the issuance of the warrant and hearing on two prior violations where trial court did not extend the term of probation each time he violated, but simply continued(reinstated) the probation.

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A.