J.J. v. State, 170 So.3d 861 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015) A witness’s in court description of actions depicted in a video recording is content based testimony that violates the best evidence rule when offered to prove a crime without introduction of the video in evidence. However, testimony describing events that were observed live and recorded do not violate the best evidence rule, even if the recording is not admitted into evidence.
Fajardo v. State, 4D14-3770 (Fla. 4th DCA June 8, 2016) Reversing a conviction and sentence for attempted second degree murder and remanding for a new trial, the trial court improperly precluded the defendant from questioning a key state witness about his detention at an immigration detention facility when, during an interview with a detective, he identified the defendant from a photo lineup.
S.P. Ex. Rel. R.P. v. Vecchio, 162 So.3d 75 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) The State is charged with constructive knowledge and possession of evidence withheld by state agents, including law enforcement officers.
Davis v. State, 162 So.3d 91 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) Rule providing that if the defendant remains uncharged the court on the 30th day shall, if good cause is shown by the State, order that the defendant automatically be released on his own recognizance on the 40th day unless the State files formal charges by that date, requires that the order provide for the defendant’s automatic release unless the State files formal charges by the fortieth day from arrest, and the rule requires that the order include this directive, regardless of whether a hearing is held. In fact, the rule does not require another hearing and order to authorize release once the State has been noticed of the passage of the thirty day time period.
Medina v. State, 4D15-4134 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 5, 2016) Where a circuit court revoked the petitioner’s bond and ordered pretrial detention based solely on the pretrial release officer’s affidavit stating only that the petitioner, while on pretrial release, had been charged in a Miami-Dade County case with driving while license suspended, without stating any facts establishing probable cause for the new charge, the affidavit is insufficient to revoke pretrial release and order pretrial detention.
Grandison v. State, 160 So.3d 90 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Circumstantial evidence was insufficient to support defendant’s convictions of burglary of an unoccupied convenience store and criminal mischief, although eyewitness saw defendant pick up two men outside store and defendant jumped out of moving vehicle to flee from police. Gloves and crowbars found in defendant’s vehicle were not established to have been used in burglary by DNA or fingerprint evidence. DNA from a ski mask in vehicle identified defendant as a possible DNA contributor but eyewitness did not see either man at scene wearing a mask and no evidence indicated defendant was physically at store when burglary and criminal mischief allegedly occurred. Circumstantial evidence was insufficient to support defendant’s conviction of possession of burglary tools, where neither DNA nor fingerprint evidence connected mask, gloves, and crowbar found in defendant’s vehicle to convenience store burglary.
Smith v. State, 170 So.3d 745 (Fla. 2015) Where the only proof of guilt is circumstantial, no matter how strongly the evidence may suggest guilt, a conviction cannot be sustained unless the evidence is inconsistent with any reasonable hypothesis of innocence. Appellate courts will sustain a conviction based solely on circumstantial evidence so long as the evidence is: (1) consistent with the defendant’s guilt, and (2) inconsistent with any reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
Miller v. State, 161 So.3d 354 (Fla. 2015) Defendant may waive right to conflict free counsel and this waiver will be affirmed when record indicates that defendant: (1) was aware of the conflict of interest; (2) realized conflict could affect defense; and (3) knew of the right to obtain other counsel.
Fletcher v. State, 168 So.3d 186 (Fla. 2015) There must be a meaningful relationship between or among charges before they can be tried together. Crimes must be linked in some significant way before they can be tried together. Whether acts or transactions are connected, so as to support the offenses being tried together, is considered in an episodic sense and courts may consider whether the acts or transactions are temporally or geographically associated, the nature of the crimes, and the manner in which they are committed. Interests in practicality, efficiency, expense, convenience and judicial economy of consolidating offenses do not outweigh a defendant’s right to a fair determination of guilt or innocence.
Sanders v. State, 2D15-2360 (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 8, 2017) Close proximity to contraband and unusual behavior is insufficient to establish constructive possession of contraband. The State’s evidence established only that the contraband was within Sanders’ ready reach not that it was under his control.
Thompson v. State, 172 So.3d 527 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015) Constructive possession may not be present when a knife or other weapon is found in a dormitory room occupied only by the defendant if, prior to the weapon being located, other people were occupying the same room.
R.C.R. v. State, 174 So.3d 460 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) Evidence in juvenile delinquency case did not show juvenile’s actual or constructive possession of cocaine, which was found in police car, so as to support his conviction for possession of cocaine. There was no testimony that juvenile had the cocaine in his hands or that cocaine was found in container that he was holding or otherwise on his person, deputy said she never saw juvenile with cocaine and the bag of cocaine was not found when juvenile’s pockets were searched or when he was patted down before he was placed in patrol car, and while deputy testified that she checked her police vehicle the morning of her shift and that the contraband was not there, there was no testimony as to when the bag was placed in the car. Multiple officers had access to the back seat of the car during the range of potential time that the bag could have been placed there, and deputy was in control of her vehicle the entire time, making juvenile’s control only jointly held.
Smith v. State, 175 So.3d 900 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Evidence was insufficient to prove that defendant had exclusive control over place where ammunition was located in trunk, as required to establish defendant had constructive possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Defendant was observed sitting in driver’s seat of truck, with a woman sitting in passenger seat, officer testified that bag containing ammunition, which was in plain view, was closer to passenger’s seat than driver’s seat, there was no evidence defendant purchased the ammunition nor placed it in the truck, and defendant was not the owner of the truck.
Kemp v. State, 166 So.3d 213 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Evidence was insufficient to establish defendant constructively possessed firearm found in the center console of rented car, even though a rental car agreement in defendant’s name was found in the glove compartment and a receipt for payment of a cellular telephone bill with defendant’s name was found in the center console, as required to establish conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. No one was in or near the rental car when police arrived at the residence, the console was closed when police searched the car, defendant presented evidence that another drove the rental car during the several days the defendant had the car, and no one could say who drove the car to the residence on the day of the search.
Smith v. State, 170 So.3d 745 (Fla. 2015) If the motion for continuance concerns the absence of a witness, the defendant must show (1) prior due diligence to obtain the witness’s presence; (2) substantially favorable testimony would have been forthcoming; (3) the witness was available and willing to testify; and (4) the denial of the continuance caused material prejudice.
Hill v. State, 157 So.3d 481 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015) Trial court abused its discretion in denying probationer’s motion for continuance of revocation of probation hearing so he could hire private counsel, where only one month had passed since probationer’s arrest, probationer only had one prior court appearance, probationer’s motion was not a stalling tactic, and no injustice or prejudice to the state would have resulted had the trial court granted the continuance.
J.B. v. State, 166 So.3d 813 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) Before a confession or admission against interest may be received in evidence, the state has to prove: (1) that a crime of the type charged was committed; and (2) that the crime was committed through the criminal agency of another. State must present evidence of the corpus delicti of a crime, namely the legal elements necessary to show a crime was committed, before the defendant’s confession to that crime may be admitted.
Ward v. State, 165 So.3d 789 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) State must designate, in discovery, the expert status of a police officer who will testify as an expert as a category A witness. State’s reference to “listed police officers” in portion of exhibit relating to reports or statements of experts was insufficient to comply with its discovery obligation regarding the designation of detective as an expert witness. The state’s burden to show that a discovery violation is harmless is extraordinarily high.
Domingues v. State, 159 So.3d 1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) Report of a domestic disturbance call from residence did not provide police officer with reasonable suspicion sufficient to support stop of defendant’s automobile as he drove away from the residence, even if such call was frequently used for incidents of domestic violence. Domestic disturbance call did not necessarily indicate commission of a crime.
Batchelor v. State, 2D15-308 (Fla. 2d DCA June 15, 2016) Separate convictions for traveling to meet a minor and unlawful use of two-way communications device violated the prohibition against double jeopardy where the offenses were part of a single criminal episode and the information did not predicate the charges on two distinct acts.
State v. Shelley, SC14-755 (Fla. June 25, 2015) Approving of Shelley v. State, 134 So. 3d 1138, 1141-42 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014) and disapproving State v. Murphy, 124 So. 3d 323, 330 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013), separate convictions under different subsections of Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, prohibiting solicitation and traveling after solicitation, violate double jeopardy principles prohibiting separate convictions based upon the same conduct.
Hamilton v. State, 163 So.3d 1277 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Duel convictions for traveling to meet a minor and unlawful use of a two way communication device, arising from defendant’s arranging via cell phone to meet an undercover officer who was posing as a fourteen year old girl violated double jeopardy.
Snow v. State, 157 So.3d 559 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Defendant’s convictions for using a computer service to solicit a child to engage in sexual conduct and traveling to meet a minor to do unlawful acts, arising out of the same criminal episode, did not violate double jeopardy.
Reed v. State, 2D15-1458 (Fla. 2d DCA May 27, 2016) A circuit court erred when it sentenced a professional dog fighter [11 counts of animal fighting and baiting, 11 counts of animal cruelty] to an upward departure sentence of 25 years imprisonment without making adequate findings that the defendant’s sentence to a nonstate prison sanction could have presented a danger to the public, as required by section 775.082(10). Thus, the sentence must be reversed and remand to the circuit court with instructions that the defendant be resentenced to a nonstate prison sanction.
State v. Centeno, 5D14-4664 (Fla. 5th DCA June 3, 2016) A trial court errs by imposing a downward departure sentence for burglary of a dwelling and petit theft where: Isolated Incident: The offense could not be considered an isolated offense where the defendant had been convicted of seven prior misdemeanors and three felonies; Unsophisticated: The defendant admitted to seeking items that would garner more money when pawned and he the garage to steal the items twice; and Remorse: Although the defendant entered a plea of no contest, he refused to admit that he took the items.
DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE
State v. Laina, 5D14-4469 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 11, 2015) A trial court errs in granting a motion to suppress where the knows that the registered owner (rather than the driver) of the car has a suspended license and conducts the traffic stop to investigate. “The relevant probability here is that most vehicles are driven by their owners, most of the time. As such, once Officer Bruns discovered that the owner of the vehicle he was following had a suspended driver’s license, this ‘articulated fact’ gave him a ‘founded suspicion’ that the driver might be driving illegally.”
Prater v. State, 161 So.3d 489 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014) License suspension, knowledge of the license suspension, and actually driving are the requisite elements of the crime of driving while license suspended.
Wilder v. State, 1D14-5705 (Fla. 1st DCA June 15, 2016) The liquid by-product from the manufacture of the methamphetamine is properly included when calculating the weight of the methamphetamine for purposes of meeting the threshold weight for trafficking.
Fletcher v. State, 168 So.3d 330 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Testimony that church services were held regularly at time of trial was not sufficient evidence of regularly conducted religious services at time of offense, which was approximately six months prior to trial, in prosecution for possession of cocaine within a thousand feet of a church and possession of cocaine with intent to sell within a thousand feet of a church.
Lemaster v. State, 162 So.3d 56 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) To convict a defendant of sale or possession with intent to sell a controlled substance within a thousand feet of a church, the state must present evidence establishing that, during the time frame when the offense occurred (not the trial) religious services being conducted.
Oyler v. State, 162 So.3d 200 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) Defendant who asserted entrapment defense, should not have been precluded from offering evidence that he had never been arrested in prosecution for use of a computer to lure minor to commit unlawful sexual conduct. Evidence of lack of prior criminal history was relevant to entrapment defense.
Roman v. State, 165 So.3d 723 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) If there is any possibility of a tendency of evidence to create a reasonable doubt, the rules of evidence are usually construed to allow for its admissibility.
Newton v. State, 160 So.3d 524 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) When the state opens the door, the defense can introduce otherwise inadmissible evidence to prevent the jury from being misled. The rule of completeness allows a court to admit a defendant’s out of court statement when a witness has testified to incriminating statements contemporaneously made by the defendant.
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A SINGLE LANE
Peeples v. State, 2D14-1009 (Fla. 2d DCA Sept. 3, 2015) he State concedes that the trial court erred in denying Mr. Peeples’ motion to suppress because the stop of his car was unauthorized—law enforcement did not have a reasonable safety concern based on Mr. Peeples’ one failure to maintain a single lane that did not endanger the deputies or anyone else.
FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM
Finley v. State, 139 So.3d 940 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) Evidence was not sufficient to support defendant’s conviction for being felon in possession of a firearm although handgun was found in defendant’s apartment and his DNA was on the handgun and magazine, state’s witness could not determine when the DNA was put on the gun, and even more significantly, she testified that secondary DNA transfer was possible, and since there was additional inferences needed, that defendant’s DNA was put on the gun by him, and that it was put under the mattress by him, in order to believe that defendant possessed handgun, the DNA evidence was circumstantial, and defendant’s theory was that it was the burglar, who put the handgun in his apartment, and state did not present any evidence inconsistent with this theory.
Greenlee v. State, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D718b (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Greenlee was convicted of four counts of possession of any firearm by a convicted felon under section 790.23(1), Florida Statutes. Each count was based on firearms possessed during the same event. Three of the convictions violate double jeopardy principles. The court vacated the convictions and sentences for three counts, vacated the sentence on the remaining count, and remanded for resentencing on that count. The court affirmed the remaining issues.
Floyd v. State, 159 So.3d 987 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Every post arrest silence is ambiguous because of what the state is required to advise the person arrested, and it would be fundamentally unfair and a depravation of due process to allow the arrested person’s silence to be used to impeach an explanation subsequently offered at trial by the defendant.
FINAL ARGUMENT – PROSECUTORS
Moss v. State, 169 So.3d 223 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) A comment by a prosecutor that the defendant has not before offered the explanation of events he offers at trial, as an exercise of his right to remain silent, is improper.
McDowell v. State, 162 So.3d 124 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) The prosecution’s closing argument remarks, which suggested that there were other witnesses who would corroborate the State’s case, were improper, and were not harmless.
Constant v. State, 139 So.3d 479 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2014) Prosecutor’s improper comments during closing argument in robbery trial that jury had promised to convict defendant if there was a single credible witness and that prosecutor believed defendant committed the crime was not harmless error. The state’s improper closing argument, during which the prosecutor stated that the non-testifying victim would have testified “to exactly the same things” she said in her telephone call for emergency assistance, was not harmless.
Agresta v. City of Maitland, 159 So.3d 876 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) Civil forfeiture of defendant’s home under Contraband Forfeiture Act following defendant’s convictions for cultivating cannabis, stealing electricity, and misdemeanor possession of cannabis, all of which occurred in home, violated Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause. The value of the home was between $238,000 and $295,000. Defendant faced eleven year maximum prison sentence and $11,000 maximum fine and there was no indication that defendant caused harm beyond his commission of offenses.
Kaseta v. State, 2D12-6431 (Fla. 2d DCA June 3, 2016) Reversing a conviction for manslaughter and reversing for a new trial, the trial court reversibly erred by permitting the victim’s sister to testify that her late father related to her a neighbor told him there was a disturbance at a mobile home where the defendant and victim lived on the evening before victim’s disappearance. “Given the paucity of the State’s evidence even that Mimmovich is dead, let alone that Kaseta killed her, we easily reject the State’s assertion that permitting Martin’s improper testimony was harmless error. To the contrary, Kaseta’s conviction may well have unfairly turned on it.”
Leonard v. State, 2D15-1949 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2016) Following a bench trial, the defendant was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident with death contrary to section 316.027, Florida Statutes (2009), a first-degree felony, and tampering with evidence contrary to section 918.13, Florida Statutes (2009), a third- degree felony. During the bench trial, a detective explained that he contacted the tag agency and learned that Mr. Leonard had changed the registration and license plate of the vehicle from his sister to himself. Mr. Leonard’s counsel immediately objected on hearsay grounds, but the trial court overruled the objection. As to the conviction for tampering with evidence, the trial court erroneously admitted hearsay testimony over timely defense objection; as it is not clear from the record that the trial court did not rely on that evidence in reaching its determination of guilt, the conviction for tampering must be reversed and remanded for a new trial.
Lopiano v. State, 164 So.3d 82 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) Police officer’s statements during interview that he did not believe defendant’s denials of officer’s accusation that defendant digitally penetrated alleged victim were not admissible in prosecution for lewd or lascivious molestation, where the probative value of the statements was sufficiently outweighed by the unfair prejudice to his defense engendered by admission of the officer’s commentary. A police officer’s testimony or comments suggesting a defendant’s guilt invades the province of the jury to decide guilt or innocence.
J.B. v. State, 166 So.3d 813 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) Hearsay testimony of store security officer in delinquency adjudication proceedings, relating his co-worker’s statement that subject juvenile took bracelet from store, was not admissible to explain “state of mind” of officer who heard hearsay or to explain logical sequence of events.
Jershun v. State, 169 So.3d 232 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) When the state must establish the existence of a prior conviction to prove an essential element of the offense, merely introducing a judgment, which shows identity between the name on the prior judgment and the name of the defendant, is insufficient. Instead, the state must present affirmative evidence that the defendant and the person named on the prior judgment are the same person.
Grant v. State, 138 So.3d 1079 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) To enhance a defendant’s sentence under statute subjecting a defendant convicted of actually possessing a firearm during the commission of a robbery to a ten year mandatory minimum sentence, the grounds for enhancement must be clearly charged in the information. Jury’s finding that defendant carried a firearm in the course of committing an attempted robbery, so as to support conviction for attempted armed robbery was insufficient to support ten year mandatory minimum sentence under statute authorizing such a sentence for a defendant who actually possessed a firearm during the commission of an attempted robbery. Jury made no finding that firearm was within immediate physical reach with ready access or that defendant had intent to use the firearm during the commission of the offense as required for constructive possession under the sentence enhancement statute. Applicability of statute subjecting a defendant convicted of actually possessing a firearm during the commission of a robbery to a ten year mandatory minimum sentence is predicated on the defendant being found to have been in actual possession of the firearm.
INDICTMENT – INFORMATION
Carlson v. State, 166 So.3d 957 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) Trial court erred when it allowed state, mid-trial, to amend the information to add officer as an alternative victim under the resisting without violence charge because the mid-trial amendment was not a mere clarification of some detail in an existing charge, but rather, was tantamount to adding a new charge against defendant. This was not a case of simply correcting the name of the victim where only a single officer was involved and no one, including the defendant, reasonably could have been misled as to the identity of the victim.
Hall v. State, 2D14-2321 (Fla. 2d DCA Jan. 5, 2016) Where it was undisputed at trial that the victim’s statements led the defendant reasonably to conclude that the domestic violence injunction was no longer in effect, the trial court erred in failing to grant the defendant’s motion for a judgment of acquittal on the charge of violation of the domestic violence injunction.
Landrum v. State, SC15-1071 (Fla. June 9, 2016) “[T]he Supreme Court’s decision in Miller applies to juvenile offenders whose sentences of life imprisonment without parole were imposed pursuant to a discretionary sentencing scheme when the sentencing court, in exercising that discretion, was not required to, and did not take ‘into account how children are different and how those differences counsel against irrevocably sentencing them to a lifetime in prison.’ Miller, 132 S. Ct. at 2469.”
Reza v. State, 163 So.3d 572 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015) Although lack of notification of a child’s parents is a factor court may consider in determining voluntariness of a child’s confession, it is not a statutory prerequisite to interrogation.
M.B. v. State, 5D14-2979 (Fla. 5th DCA March 13, 2015) A trial court errs by ordering a 14-year-old juvenile offender to register as a sex offender after the trial court expressly found that the juvenile touched his victim’s genitals over their clothing. Section 800.04(5)(c)1, Florida Statutes, only permits a trial court to order a juvenile offender to register as a sex offender “where the court finds molestation involving unclothed genitals…”
LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT
State v. Dorsett, 158 So.3d 557 (Fla. 2015) In prosecution under hit and run statute, state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that driver had actual knowledge of crash, as an essential element of the crime of leaving the scene of an accident. Hit and run statute expressly provided that felony criminal violation required that driver had willfully violated statute and willful violation would be established only if driver had actual knowledge that the crash occurred.
McGowan v. State, 139 So.3d 934 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) Evidence was insufficient to support defendant’s conviction for leaving the scene of a crash involving injury to or death of a person absent evidence that defendant knew or should have known that he hit a person, necessitating his duty to stop, as essential element of crime. When there are multiple impacts, the driver must know of the specific impact that actually resulted in the injury to be convicted for leaving the scene of a crash involving injury or death of a person.
LESSER AND INCLUDED OFFENSES
Collier v. State, 159 So.3d 963 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015) Allegations of information charging defendant with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon warranted jury instruction on lesser included offense of improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon.
Madge v. State, 160 So.3d 86 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) While the observations of lay persons leading up to the arrival of law enforcement may provide factual background prior wrongdoing cannot establish the basis for a loitering and prowling charge. An officer’s observations are critical to satisfying the state’s burden of proof for the crime of loitering and prowling. Evidence was insufficient to establish that defendant, who reportedly attempted to enter a car of a lay witness in a restaurant parking lot, committed the offense of loitering and prowling. No evidence indicated that responding police officer personally observed any alarming behavior which presented an immediate concern for the safety of persons or property.
Reza v. State, 163 So.3d 572 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015) Although lack of notification of a child’s parents is a factor court may consider in determining voluntariness of a child’s confession, it is not a statutory prerequisite to interrogation.
Somers v. State, 162 So.3d 1077 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015) Officer’s testimony in describing defendant “I remember he didn’t want to speak with me” was an improper comment on defendant’s exercise of his right to remain silent.
Carlisle v. State, 164 So.3d 69 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015) Due process clause of state constitution prohibits the use of post arrest pre-Miranda silence at trial. Admission of defendant’s statement to detective that “he wasn’t going to tell detective where he got property and wasn’t going to tell on anyone” violated his right to remain silent under Miranda. Statement was made after defendant was arrested and before he was given his Miranda warnings.
Wright v. State, 161 So.3d 442 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014) Fifteen year old defendant’s waiver of Miranda rights following her prior un-Mirandized custodial confession to involvement in a murder was not knowing, intelligent and voluntary. Although officers’ failure to provide proper warnings was an honest mistake and officers did not minimize the significance of Miranda warnings, defendant had little experience with criminal justice system and officers did nothing to counter defendant’s probable and reasonable belief that her prior incriminating statements, made just minutes before, could be used against her.
Salinas v. Texas, 133 S.Ct. 2174 (2013) A defendant’s silence can be held against him and referred to by the prosecution at trial if he remains silent to certain questions pre-arrest and pre-Miranda. This assumes that the defendant is not in custody at the time the statements were made.
Conyers v. State, 164 So.3d 73 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015) A crack pipe may be contraband even if it has never been used.
PRIMA FACIA EVIDENCE
Halliday v. State, 5D15-1803 (Fla. 5th DCA May 27, 2016) Where the only evidence to support a conviction was the victim’s out-of-court statements, which were contradicted by her in-court testimony, a trial court reversibly errs by denying a motion for judgment of acquittal as to a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation.
K.B. v. State, 170 So.3d 121 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015) Mere presence at the scene of a crime, knowledge of the crime, and even flight from the scene are insufficient to show that a defendant was an aider and abettor. To be a principal to the commission of a crime, one must have a conscious intent that the crime be done and must do some act or say some word which was intended to and does incite, cause, encourage, assist, or advise another person to actually commit the crime.
Grandison v. State, 160 So.3d 90 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) Neither mere knowledge that an offense is being committed nor presence at the scene of the crime and flight therefrom are sufficient to establish participation in the requisite intent that the criminal act be done as required to convict under a principal’s theory. To convict under a principal’s theory, the state is required to prove the defendant had a conscious intent and that the criminal act be done and that the defendant did some act or said some word which was intended to and which did insight, cause, encourage, assist or advise the other person or persons to actually commit or attempt to commit a crime.
Antoine v. State, 138 So.3d 1064 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) Victim’s reputation for violence is admissible in self-defense cases regardless of the defendant’s knowledge thereof to demonstrate that the victim was the aggressor. In a self-defense case, evidence of the victim’s character trait of violence may be offered on the issue of who was the aggressor, as showing, or as tending to show, that the defendant acted in self-defense. This is because the evidence is offered to show the conduct of the victim, rather than the defendant’s state of mind. One purpose for offering evidence of the victim’s character trait of violence in self-defense case is to prove that the accused was reasonably apprehensive of the victim and that the defensive measures of the accused were reasonable. When the evidence is offered for this purpose, there must be evidence that the accused knew of the victim’s acts of violence or aggression. Evidence of prior specific acts of violence by the victim is admissible, if known by the defendant, because it is relevant to reveal the reasonableness of the defendant’s apprehension at the time of the incident. Standard jury instruction on reputation of victim, offered in prosecution for attempted second degree murder, failed to accurately and sufficiently instruct jury, where reputation evidence was offered to show that one of the victim was the aggressor, but instruction undermines such evidence by requiring jury to find that defendant was aware of victim’s reputation for violence.
RESISTING AN OFFICER
D.L.S. v. State, 2D14-5215 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2016) Reversing a withhold of adjudication, the trial court erred by denying the motion to dismiss the charge of obstructing an officer without violence where the officer was not detaining anyone when he ordered the juvenile to stop, he was not executing process, and not asking for assistance in an ongoing emergency. To the extent that the State argued the officer wanted to detain the juvenile for investigatory purposes, the officer had no founded suspicion to stop or arrest the juvenile.
Jackson v. State, 4D14-972 (Fla. 4th DCA May 11, 2016) “The issue presented is whether appellant can be convicted of resisting arrest without violence when he refused to leave his home after the police, without a warrant or exigent circumstances, ordered him to come outside and submit to police custody. Because we find that ordering appellant to leave his home was unlawful, we reverse appellant’s conviction for resisting arrest without violence.”