Rehearing Denied Jan. 10, 2012.
James T. Miller, Jacksonville, for Petitioner.
Pamela Jo. Bondi, Attorney General, Trisha Meggs Pate, Assistant Attorney General, Ralph F. Guerra, Assistant Attorney General, and Edward C. Hill, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Respondent.
Eugene McCoskey is petitioning this Court to grant a writ of certiorari, requiring that the trial court permit him to present evidence of his intent to drive during his trial for violating the Florida DUI statute. We deny his petition, finding the lower court did not depart from any essential requirement of law by prohibiting petitioner from making his subjective intent an issue at trial.
Petitioner, Mr. McCoskey, was arrested for driving under the influence (" DUI" ). Prior to trial, Respondent, the State of Florida, filed an Omnibus Motion in Limine with the trial court, seeking to prevent Petitioner from arguing that the State must prove his " intent to drive" in order to convict him for DUI. Specifically, the State moved for the following:
The State of Florida, by and through the undersigned Assistant State Attorney, files this Omnibus Motion in Limine and requests this Honorable Court to enter an order limiting evidence, comments, and arguments either at trial or injury selection as follows:
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6. There shall be no argument or comment that the State must prove an " intent to drive" in order to prove Actual Physical Control. There is no statute, case, or jury instruction that defense can cite to stand for the proposition that the state need prove an intent to drive for actual physical control, as DUI is a general intent crime, which covers the driving/actual physical control element....
7. There shall be no eliciting of testimony concerning the defendant contacting other people for him to get a ride home, that this was a usual arrangement, and/or that he was just waiting in the car until his ride came....
The trial court entered an order denying the State's motion as it related to the aforementioned paragraphs and holding Petitioner could elicit testimony relating to his intent to operate his car prior to his arrest. Soon thereafter, the State filed an appeal to the above order in circuit court. The circuit court, acting in its appellate capacity, reversed the trial court's denial of the State's motion.
This Court will only grant a petition for writ of certiorari when a lower tribunal has acted: (1) beyond its jurisdiction; or (2) in a manner that departed from the essential requirements of the law. See Haines City ...